The time that most metal concentrated on the edges of our tiny Dutch country seem to be gone, judging from the many bands that currently reside in the bigger cities like Utrecht. Utrecht is slowly becoming the Black Metal Capital of the Netherlands, with Wrang, Terzij de Horde, Laster, Muorgal and Wesenwille. Wesenwille, created by R. Schmidt, may be a little more niche. They play progressive black metal. Heavy riffs, layers upon layers, atmospheric breaks, deep grunts, and overall, a really massive, but melodic sound. The band has been around a while as this is their 3rd album already.
III – The Great Light Above
III – The Great Light Above is 45 minutes of progressive black metal goodness spread over 7 tracks. There is a good balance in 7+ min. songs and shorter tracks, with Eclipse being the execption at 2.51 min. Which makes sense, for it is more of an instrumental atmospheric interlude than a full-blown black metal track. The longer tracks never get boring, though. Wesenwille does a great job at keeping the tracks varied enough, with the slow drawn-out riffs and various layers of instruments. I particularly like the multiple layers of strings, it makes for a grand, almost orchestral sound, that fits the theme of this album perfectly.
About the tracks
Two of the tracks on this album had been released previously, “Revelation of the Construct” and ‘Our Sole Illuminator”. With both songs spanning almost half of the album, they represent The Great Light Above well. A track like Our Sole Illuminator has everything: from pounding blastbeats, emotional screams, impressive guitar solos, slow and slower breaks, violins, cello’s, instrumental interludes, weird rhythm changes and polyrhythms. It’s easily my favorite track on this album just because it’s such a complete epos. The production of this track has a quality that makes it sound like you are front and center at a live concert of these guys. After the aggressiveness of ‘Our Sole Illuminator’, the instrumental interlude Eclipse is a welcoming relief. If you’re up for more darkness, Trinity is a great snacksize track (only 3.46 min), with the dissonant riffs and drawn-out screams that reminds me of Deathspell Omega, a band Wesenwille has been compared to before.
Transformation starts with a pounding drum intro that reminds me of Rotting Christ in a way. This is one of the shorter tracks on the album and being a mid-tempo track, a nice follow up of the heavier Revelation of the Construct. The Legacy of Giants is a nice dissonant, ugly (in the best sense of the word – I love ugly chords) track. It’s the only track with some spoken word layered on top of it. I have to say I like the screams more than this spoken word though. Halfway through the song Wesenwille surprises us with some major chords instead of the dissonant ugliness we’ve had before. This makes for a really progressive track, and while I’m usually a big fan of progressive weirdness, I liked the dissonant heaviness a bit more. Not my favorite but I’m sure there are enough people that would enjoy this.
The Spectacular Gaze starts of with a groovy riff, and while getting heavy, there is a glimpse of hope in this track as well. With the instrumental atmospheric ending to this track, it’s the perfect ending to this album.
The Great Light Above is a very consistent album, with a great production and a really massive, immersive sound. Some of these tracks will definitely be regulars in my playlist for the coming winter.
- Revelation of the construct
- The legacy of giants
- Our Sole Illuminator
- The specular gaze