Ahh the good old Low Countries: drugs, windmills, tulips, brothels and filthy Metal of Death. Despite being overshadowed by their Scandinavian and South American brethren there have been quite a few quality groups around trodding their own paths, besmirching the good name of the region, such as Bestial Summoning, Countess, Funeral Winds and Lugubrum among others.
Wrok‘s no exception to the list above: formed sometime around ’96, the trio espoused its own brand of primitive devil worship for about three short years spawning some tapes in the process, kicking the proverbial bucket around 1999. A jump to the near past: Wrok rises from its grave (composed of 2/3s of the original lineup) under the (black) wing of Nederlands undergound stalwarts Heidens Hart and unleashes whatever’s been festering inside them in the last one and a half decade. Probably there’s more to the story as my LP copy came with a nice colorful insert with a detailed biography but since as it’s in Dutch I can’t make neither heads nor tails of it despite my short stint as a Benelux customer service agent. Oh, well.
Throwing on De Onheilsbode it quickly becomes evident that the duo’s draining the same peat bog as hometown heroes Bestial Summoning: primitive Behereitian riffs, hateful snarling vocals (this time in their mother tongue) and a sound that’s about as clean as century-old a coffin brought to the surface by some deluge. On the LP’s side B more dirge-y arrangements rear their ugly heads, recalling the best moments of Hellhammer and again, Rovaniemi’s finest. Ladies and gents, this is what Black Metal has been (and should be) before it became the trendy pastime of West Coast hipsters and the vessel of ‘humanist’ Satanists yapping about the oppression and unnecessary sufferings of the world.
All in all, the re-animation of Wrok is a welcome breath of putrid air in today’s black metal underground. Let us hope that the second incarnation shall last longer for based on De Onheilsbode there are still graves left to desecrate.