Bezwering – Aan de wormen overgeleverd (Ván Records)
Review by Milos Sebalj
One thing fans have come to expect out of Ván Records is quality. A label that quickly grew in status, to become one of the most respected in the underground, owes it all to their exquisite taste in discovering relatively unknown names and growing further alongside them. This young Dutch quintet fits perfectly to their roster, both musically and philosophically. Speaking of youth, members of Bezwering are no newcomers, although the name of the band is relatively fresh, with just one demo recording prior to the debut full length. And the fact is clearly heard on “Aan de wormen overgeleverd”.
Black metal is the name of the game. Bezwering presents a clever use of primeval means to their favor. Scandinavian second wave is what drives the Dutchmen’s creativity. That’s no secret, after listening to the album. However, characterizing their soundscape, their primary concern is the atmosphere, instead of raw brutality. Don’t get me wrong, this is no melancholic or depressive weep. Not even close. The aura surrounding “Aan de wormen overgeleverd” comes much closer to so called epic approach. This is especially felt in the magnificent use of lead guitars and amplified by the deep clean (choral) voices in combination with traditional screams. Use track 7 for reference. “The tragedy of the forgotten deceased” claims the liner note in the info sheet, describing the thought behind the song. Thinking of doom metal, aren’t you? And you are not far from the truth, as a certain dose of the genre does float around the album in its entirety. Still, it is just a subtle hint instead of the prevailing force. There is still a substantial amount of classical black metal aggression to be found on the record. But, these parts are nicely fitted in, so that no one can accuse Bezwering of primitiveness for the sake of being primitive. For a clear example of the thought put behind this work, I will once again turn to the mentioned liner notes that explain the theme of each track. It helps a lot if you are a stranger to the language as I am.
There is no rush in the ranks of Bezwering. Their songs do not punch with unnecessary speed. The songs on “Aan de wormen overgeleverd” hit much deeper than the norms of old school black metal dictate. Thus, the album avoids the narrow minded fan base, and goes straight to the mind instead of the muscle. A broad perception of insanity, tragedy and death is what makes it special. Now, as I say special, there are certainly bands out there roaming along the similar paths. Especially among the Ván Records productions. However, as similar they are, so are they quite versatile and one can make a clear distinction between such acts. That is the case with Bezwering too. As already said, they use the patterns long ago invented. The point of distinction remains the fact that they are using them in a thoughtful way, steering clear of the clichés and driving forth on their own.
A name to follow, for sure, since I’m left with the feeling this record, as good as it is, doesn’t quite reach the pinnacle of what Bezwering is capable of. The Dutch black metal scene, once again, expels another hidden gem.