Wijlen Wij - S/t [Aesthetic Death - 2007]The bizarrely named Wijlen Wij (Dutch/Flemish for 'us, passed away', MB) offer up an self titled debut album that's rather distinctive, often epic & atmospheric take on doom/slowed black metal craft mixing in dark monk chant’s, metal-lized medieval vibe, church organ grimness and slowed dark melodic synth swamps of sound to lose yourself in.
From the start of the first track L'anathème with its rich monk chants (clearly sang by the band them self’s with great black vigour & authenticity) and a melodic medieval organ unfold that gets roared over by crushing guitar riffing, your in for a special dark ride. Real thought has being given to every sound used and the way it balances with the rest of the mix to give both crushing heaviness and melodic evil presence, with the tracks always knee deep in atmospheric grim grandeur. The album as a whole brings to mind a dark sect of medieval monks and their grim, often barbaric rule of superstitious peasant village. Bells toll, growled black vocals bellow over banks of monk chants, as slowed riff craft cuts to the decaying bone and church organ/synth swam and simmer in dark melodic wonder.
A highly polished dark debut masterwork, that’s surprisingly fully formed with its own sound and audio place. So drag your self through the dark ornate gates Wijlen Wij's kingdom to be eternal lost in grim wonder.Roger Batty