A long awaited fourth studio album from Belgian Black Metal triumvirate Wiegedood, and their first since 2018’s trilogy ending ‘De doden hebben het goed III’. ‘There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road’ starts a new journey for the band but one thing has remained the same is the label backing from Century Media.
Apocalyptic opener ‘FN SCAR 16’ has a maniacal wasteland glow about it; all mesmerizing riffs and blazing guitar rhythms similar to ‘Aura’ era Bolzer, whilst in the background drummer Wim Sreppoc keeps up a tremendously frenetic and blistering pace. There is something very hypnotic and intriguing about the guitar leads; the darkness and steel of them, their directness but also the hint of danger and challenge. And these qualities roar onwards into ‘And in Old Salamano’s Room, the Dog Whimpered Softly’, (A song written about the bleak novella by Albert Camus in 1942 called The Stranger) though after more harrowing and destructive onslaught, things settle into a slower, chugging groove as the band cast a darker pall into the atmosphere of the album. That isn’t really surprising though when you consider the tone of the novella. And the bleak concepts and moods don’t end there, as ‘Noblesse oblige richesse oblige’, meaning that nobility extends beyond mere entitlement, requiring people who hold such status to fulfil social responsibilities, a laughable concept when you consider the state of the world and the upper echelons.
Despite being forty five minutes in length, ‘There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road’ absolutely flies by, and despite having listened to it five times already I can still glean certain things revealing themselves to me each time, such as the atmospheric splendour hidden within the rampaging hostility of ‘Now Will Always Be’ or ‘Wade’. One thing that was apparent after just one listen to the album though was its sheer quality in terms of musicianship, songcraft and overall creativity.