Kjeld are the opening band on this split. 2015’s Skym was cold and evil black metal in the Scandinavian style. On this release they contribute 17 minutes of music in the form of three songs.
Kjeld’s music is icy and orthodox. With a firm grasp of what constitutes second wave black metal, these three songs demonstrate that Kjeld are very good at what they do.
Although I enjoyed their debut album, I found myself warming to their half of this split even more. The band seem to have refined their art and these songs hit the mark quite nicely.
With a strong production, a confident delivery, razorblade riffing and dark, insidious melodies, Kjeld impress. The second track, Wanskepsel, is particularly good; the keyboards in particular that make an appearance really add to the feeling of the song.
It’s now Wederganger’s turn. I like this band a lot. Their 2015 album Halfvergaan Ontwaakt demonstrated a band that had a lot to offer the black metal scene, and their 2016 split with Laster firmly cemented this, showing the band off in an even more epic light. With atmospheric and folk influences, Wederganger made quite an impression.
They contribute two songs to this split, lasting 15 minutes in total. The folk influences are absent, replaced with a more orthodox delivery.
Laaiende Haat tarts things off with a rather bluesy riff and soon develops a groovy swagger. The song has a rather old-school approach and has a sufficiently frosted covering. Screamed vocals are added to by some good cleans near the start, which are soon replaced by plentiful screams once more.
The main riff has a catchy melody and the mid-paced groove shifts up a gear about halfway through the song. Shortly after this a solo appears that’s nicely done – kind of linked to the rhythm guitar, but also languidly separate. The cleans make another appearance here too, and are well-performed.
The song builds pace in the latter quarter, with blast beats and clean vocals. It reminds me a little of Vintersorg, but only a little.
The second track, De Galgenberg, is the shorter of the two. Starting with feedback and a twisting riff, we’re back into mid-paced territories as the drums kick in. Clean vocals lead the way, providing a melodic contrast to the cold grooves. After some blast beats the track continues in this vein, only with added screamed backing vocals.
The song has a good atmosphere and the clean singing is quite infectious. Initially I preferred the first song out of the two, but on subsequent listens De Galgenberg definitely became my favourite.
A top-notch split between two quality black metal bands. Wederganger deliver the goods once more, and Kjeld have impressed and improved on their earlier material.
A recommended listen.