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Wesenwille – II: A Material God

wesenwille – ii: a material god


Even though the band born as a project meant to honour stalwarts of dissonant Black Metal, Wesenwille didn’t intend to end it there and remain a one-time project. The band from Utrecht, The Netherlands, started working on the follow-up to ‘I: Wesenwille’ straight after the release of the debut, and fitting with greater ambitions moved to a new label, France’s Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions. This newfound cooperation was materialized in stone (or rather, vinyl and polycarbonate) in 2021 with the release of ‘II: A Material God’.

The debut album was a very strong release, although I found the production a touch too sterile and at times a bit abrupt in its transitions. It’s safe to say that both concerns are taken away on the sophomore release. On ‘II: A Material God”, Wesenwille takes literally everything one step further. The faster sections are faster, the dissonant sections are more thought-provoking and contradictory, and the atmosphere goes even more into beautiful melodies. Above all, everything is much more fluently and organically woven together. This is not in the least due to a more organic sound of the recording, with a stronger Black Metal feeling to it. JB van der Wal, responsible for the recording, mix and mastering, and the band have pulled off an impressive feat here, as balancing technical and dissonant Black Metal with blasting drums that still remains atmospheric and melancholic can’t be an easy task.

Apart from developing the sound from the debut, we also find the subtle addition of new elements. For instance, one of the most dissonant tracks on the album ‘Burial ad Sanctos’ flirts with chugging Death Metal type riffs, ‘The Introversion of Sacrifice’ has some drum work that also extends to Death Metal rhythms while the catchy carrying melody at the end of ‘The Descent’ has a bit of a Mörk Gryning sound and feel to it. The culmination of all the development the band has gone through is presented in the title track, a ferociously opening track with fast blast beats, highly dissonant and intriguing breaks, melodic leads, a bleak atmosphere and even a sense of catchiness that shouldn’t even be possible to combine with technical music like this. Downright spectacular, and a highly memorable track. It feels only right to mention the drumming of D. Schermann here, who pulls off creative dissonant sections and blastbeats with seeming ease. Negatives? I find my attention span drops a bit during the song ‘Ritual’. Similarly, while a good track, ‘Ruin’ can’t quite maintain the quality of ‘A Material God’ and ‘The Introversion of Sacrifice’, the two standout songs that come right before and after it.

With all these developments, the band moves from a “this sounds like Deathspell Omega and Svartidauði” description to a “you can hear how they took influences from these bands and made it their own” kind of feel. ‘II: A Material God’ feels like a leap forward in every possible way. Subsequently, the band has been on the road more and more with shows in Denmark, Germany, France and Belgium. Deservedly so, the music of Wesenwille is very much worth hearing!