Seriously, though, why is Dutch black metal so frickin' awesome?
Photo courtesy of Burning World Records
The lineup for this year's Incubate Festival is insane—no one festival should be allowed to draw together such a massive number of incredible bands into a kind of talent vortex, leaving the rest of the world to suffer from sub-par musical entertainment for an entire week, but this Tilburg-based affair does just that. While there will be dozens of international artists in attendence, some of the most exciting additions to the 2015 lineup is from just a stone's throw away from the cluster of venues that form Incubate's backbone.
They may not be playing this year (one of their members is involved with running the festival, and there's no time to pull it off) but past years have seen electrifying performances from Utrecht's Terzij de Horde. They're part of the Netherlands' reliably excellent black metal scene (also home to Urfaust, Nihill, Dodecahedron, and, in a way, the dearly departed The Devil's Blood) and have distinguished themselves by dint of a captivating, layered sound that blasts a black metal core with fragments of noise and heavy doses of melancholia. It is poetic, cerebral music that channels aggression and catharsis into something fruitful. The band will release its debut album, Self, via Burning World Records (gatefold LP), Consouling Sounds (CD) and Tartarus Records (cassette) on October 19, and I'm delighted to be sharing the album's first track, "Absence."
As Terzij de Horde bassist (and lyricist) Johan van Hattum explains, "Absence" is the opening track on Self, and it is the most logical starting point. It is a track which discusses the rebellion of self against structures, the tearing down of monism to embrace pluralism, and a call to end the constant inhibition of self by surroundings, essentially to declare war on that which is imposed."
The lyrics for this one are intense, too, with passages like the following boiling over with vitriol and frustration: "The rage of the damned and persecuted / Their seeing eyes as trophies for a sightless throne / Building and smoldering with violent promise / Like claws set to rend a deathly reality / Like a blade forged to split a hateful unity / This war bursts forth from mouths of flame / Shattered teeth, soaring words, hell untamed."
Hell untamed, indeed. Listen below: