Kludde – In de Kwelm

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It’s been a long time since we heard from Kluddetheir last album, In de Vergetelheid, dates from 2008 and although not bad, it had its shortcomings. It was a worthy try, but it didn’t leave me prepared for their comeback, almost eleven years later… And although it did cost me blood, sweat and a lot of tears to obtain a promo-copy out of the fortress that is Consouling Sounds, my effort paid off. Let’s not beat around the bush any longer: this is probably going to end in many an end-of-the-year list. As most of you know, Kludde is a water-demon that dwells along the borders of the Scheldt, a demonic beast that jumps on your back and doesn’t let go until you die from exhaustion. Actually, that is a pretty great description of the music too…

Just put the record on – no intro’s, no frills, a simple but effective guitar, soon combined with startling drumwork and the band soars away in full force, driving its claws deep into you. Now, to me the rather daunting task of explaining ‘why’ the band succeeds in doing that. The easy way out would be saying it is catchy music and although in a sense it is, I’d like to point out that rather than being easy-listening, the band ‘commands’ your attention. I found it impossible to put In de Kwelm on as background-music.

The thing that first strikes me are the powerful guitars – just listen to the start of Schramoeille – a monstrous riff, lower than you’d expect, almost with a death-metal quality to it. Snoodaert and Cerulean don’t let up either, I do think they dragged their riffs up from the bottom of a dreary swamp; there’s a definite element of filth in the guitars. Aided by the clear production and the fact that most of the riffs aren’t standard fare; I wouldn’t call what Kludde makes ‘black ‘n roll’, but sometimes the guitars lock into a distinct groove which will have you headbang. Combine that with the undeniable talent of Vellekläsjer, who’s very apt at churning out drumwork which accentuates the already strong driving quality of the guitarwork and you get music that takes no prisoners, at the same time fun to listen too and deeply threatening.

For make no mistake, this is black metal and apart from the interesting lyrical choices, the music itself isn’t lighthearted by a stretch. To me, it leaves a thoroughly violent impression; this records waltzes over you, kicks you in the nuts while doing it and then jumps up and down your head for good measure. For an example, you could listen to Schabouwelijke Praktijken II: de commerçant, which would be a good black metal track without much more if there wasn’t that relentless barreling forward permeating Kludde‘s sound.

And yes, the above should be enough to recommend this album. But then I’d forego two things that I can’t leave out. The most important, well, this kind of music can easily get boring: down-tuned guitars, quite long mid-tempo pieces… we’ve heard that go wrong before, haven’t we Satyricon? In de Kwelm features more then enough tempo-changes and little flourishes, not to mention a few jaw-dropping solo’s to keep you drawn in. Next to that, the roaring, thundering voice of Cerulean is a definite asset to the sound, he matches the filthy sound of the guitars and is responsible for a lot of the threat contained within the music.

But… yes, I recommend you pick this up a soon as possible, it’s just, the last song, De Laatste Reis, isn’t really my cup of tea: I see what the band wanted to do, make an impressive, somewhat longer closer, to go out with a bang, but to my ears that song detonates with the rest of the album, making it less impressive then the band wanted – certainly the noise at the end was, to me, completely unnecessary. That being said, it’s not a bad song by far and after a succession of real highlights it’s a minor quip.

Release date: May 24, 2019
Label: Consouling Sounds
Tracklist:

  1. Schabouwelijke praktijken I – De Rabauwen
  2. Kludde IV
  3. Bloedkoesj
  4. Schramoeille
  5. Kasteelke van Verdoemenis
  6. Poesjkapelle
  7. Schabouwelijke praktijken II – De commerçant
  8. De laatste Reis

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music9/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics9/10
  • Production/Mix8/10
  • Artwork/Packaging7/10
  • Originality8/10
8.2Kludde succeeds in making an unexpected comeback - raw, filthy and commanding your attention. This is an end-of-the-year contender!
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