Followers of the Dutch Black Metal scene have of course been aware of it for years, but where initially there were clear signs of something brewing in these parts of the world, it can now be concluded with no further ado that the scene is thriving more than ever before. It’s not just the “oldies” like Funeral Winds, Sammath and Infinity who have recently released some damn good records, but also (relative) newcomers like Death Wish, Helleruin, Kastijder, Gärgäntuäh and Wyvern are putting that small country by the North Sea back on the map. A new act making an appearance on that same front is Wurgilnõ.
We are talking about a one-man band that, despite its somewhat exotic spelling, just hails from the south-eastern part of the Netherlands and delivers a debut album with ‘De Doden Rusten Niet In Vrede’ (‘The Dead Do Not Rest In Peace’). In the nearly forty-minute ride, multi-instrumentalist C. dishes out just about every aspect of the Black Metal genre to us at breakneck speed – as if it were a crash course in Black Metal. It sounds dark and deeply vicious, the music drags you into a dizzying dynamic from the very first chords. The tempo changes jump out at you and you, as a listener, are regularly surprised by creative and challenging songwriting. Perhaps the basis of the album can be described as slightly rocking Black Metal as we know it from some Norwegian stalwarts, but throughout we find many elements that feel a bit Pagan-like, but the depth is mainly found in the contrary melodies and structures and in the moments when C. pushes the accelerator hard.
‘De Doden Rusten Niet In Vrede’ is not what you would call an easy-listening experience, but when you take the trouble to invest some time it reveals that work of art painted up with a very colourful palette by a more than capable musician. When the tempo slows down a bit, almost a kind of 80’s Death Rock-like feel emerges or it gets all into dreamlike territories that seem to last forever, but when the pace is just picked up we hear those mean and contrarian song structures that are not very far removed from the French and Icelandic Black Metal scenes of recent years, but also Mayhem’s last few albums seem to have been of some influence on the music C. feeds us here. Take a song like ‘Kraaien Op Het Galgenveld’ (‘Crows On The Gallow Field’) or the subsequent ‘Wurgilnõ’, these are possibly the tracks that best illustrate Wurgilnõ’s versatility and impenetrability. No, not exactly easy material to wrap your head around, but its intense musicality makes ‘De Doden Rusten Niet In Vrede’ a more than impressive debut.
For those who like to be challenged and do not shy away from some unorthodoxy in Black Metal, ‘De Doden Rusten Niet In Vrede’ has become a more than fitting album. In the Dutch Black Metal scene, this puts Wurgilnõ in an almost unique place musically, with really only Wesenwille managing to bring any comparable mind-boggling complexity to the table. Well done!