Inspired by second wave black metal, this is old-school, raw, and menacing. A death metal influence can be heard in the music, giving it more muscle and thickness than some black metal out there. Pinches of crust’s energetic urgency can be detected too here and there, propelling a particular passage along at a punishing rate. There’s even a doom/sludge influence; this mainly manifests on the final track De Laatste Reis, but elements can be heard occasionally in other places.
Melody is used very well, adding splashes of violent colour to the songs. There are some top quality guitar solos here too. This side of the band’s music is used to enhance the main aspects of the songs, and Kludde show near-impeccable judgement in when to let loose these flourishes into the mix, and when to hold back.
There are a lot of top quality riffs on this album, and that’s putting in mildly. Kludde seem to be very competent at banging out high quality, infectious riffs, and In de Kwelm is full of them. Some of them approach the black’n’roll style, but without fully embracing it. Others operate in slower, groovier waters, and others still at breakneck speeds. Multi-paced and textured with all manner of different shades of darkness, the songs on this album each have something of their own to offer up to the listener.
The vocals are mainly delivered in a manner that I can only describe as a fierce roar. Somewhere between a scream and a harsh growl, the singer sounds monstrous in the best of ways, and is a definite asset to the band. I’ll mention again the last song De Laatste Reis at this point, as there’s more variation on this track vocally, as befits the more doom/sludge delivery.
Kludde are adept songwriters, and these tracks are compelling and enjoyable. Whatever they’re doing, it’s easy to get swept away by the waves of distorted blackness that come off this album in…well, waves. In de Kwelm is a strong, satisfying collection of tracks.
Very highly recommended.