Wiegedood – There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road (Century Media)

With the expansive De doden hebben het goed trilogy, Wiegedood established themselves as a potent new force in European black metal.

Part of a scene that spawned the likes of Amenra and Oathbreaker, they created music that seared and scorched.

The Belgian act’s epic, evocative songs were tapestries of twilight melodies and otherworldly ferocity.

Wiegedood sounded like no one else out there.

They still don’t.

Wiegedood untamed

There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road is more than just a step away from the trilogy format, and the lengthy songs that marked their previous three albums.

For Wiegedood have moved far away from any comfort zone they’d established by De doden hebben het goed III.

And they’ve taken us along with them…

The band’s fourth full-length jabs and stabs.

It’s unnerving. Disorientating. Antagonistic.

Levy Seynaeve, Gilles Demolder and Wim Coppers haven’t given us an easy ride.

Far from it.

Deep, droning vocals and cyclical riffs turn Now Will Always Be into an entrancing, primordial hymn.

FN SCAR 16 is a dystopian nightmare of hellish fretwork, vortex rhythms and jarring dynamics.

Nuages devolves from a blastbeat-devouring leviathan to a wounded, lurching werebeast, trapped in a decaying basement.  

And mind warping closer Carousel feels like its accelerating into the earth’s molten core.

Indeed, the song leaves a stain on the senses.

A scar on the soul.

And it’s a fitting conclusion to this challenging opus.

So yes, There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road is a very difficult record.

Only the stunning Until It Is Not directly echoes Wiegedood’s previous work.

But that doesn’t matter.

This album is a bold, brave and unflinching piece of dark art… and one the visionary trio needed to make.