Welcome to part one of my Ossaert trilogy. A Dutch Black Metal solo project that has been active for five years, Ossaert’s work swings between themes of blasphemy and a more inner turmoil. This journey starts with a debut album entitled ‘Bedehuis’ which has been offered up on both CD and LP by Argento Records. I sadly can’t go into depth on the vocals, as they are all in Dutch. However I can talk to you about the instantly bleak tremolo tones of opening track ‘I’ that combine with a barrage of hostile blast beats before lowering the tempo slightly and allowing a touch of deep bass groove into the mix as the raw, abrasive vocals take hold. there are certain similarities to some of the UK’s more windswept sounding Black Metal offerings such as Winterfylleth when it comes to the guitar lead/drumming combination, but a passionate cleaner vocalled style and more urgent guitar rhythms soon put that comparison to bed. There is something both majestic and hypnotic about the rise and fall nature of the tremolo picking during this album; a quality that draws you into the desolation of the music.
I’m not usually a massive fan of cleaner vocal styles in Black Metal, but the despairing nature and high quality on offer here suits Ossaert superbly and fuses this projects sound with a level of despondency that orthodox Black Metal may not be able to replicate. Its also an interesting juxtaposition to move from moments of bleak solitude into ravenous, marauding riff/drumming combinations that throw out all notions of melody to bask in the glory of outright brutality. ‘Bedehuis’ is a wonderful start to this Dutch Black Metal journey; a rich tapestry of stark, cold tones, deeply emotional outpourings and sheer aggression. be sure to check out my review of Ossaert’s next album, ‘Pelgrimsoord’.