Do you need the epic back-story, the immense roll-call of contributors and associated acts which have fed into Hadewych? Is it essential that you’re aware of the way in which Hadewytch operates as ‘a collective as it amorphously shapeshifts and navigates through a broad swath of styles’? And will an advance awareness of the claim that ‘Welving’ is ‘nearly impossible to classify or define, utilizing a broad array of instrumentation, working in the monolithic, organic and the acoustic, and filtering it through a complex network of darkened, post-industrial, post-black, ritual hallucinations, and noir-ish Bohren And Der Club Of Gore deathjazz, with a steady stream of insistent bass, percussion, and spoken narrative to propel many of the tracks forward’? Probably not.
‘Dageraad’ opens the album is suitably dramatic style, a lot of bluster and portent, minor chords and creeping fear casting a long, gothic shadow over any proceedings. The cheese is subsumed by smog on the ultra-murky drone-throb of ‘Kho,’ a swampy industrial bass-orientated thumper that’s menacing in a Neubauten sort of way, and this is fundamentally the tone of the album in a nutshell: dark, muddy and at times almost impenetrable in its lo-fi production, ‘Welving’ is attacking but simultaneously muffled. And inevitably, it invites comparisons to classic black metal releases: it might not be as raw as the debuts by Bathory or Burzum, but it’s certainly unpolished. And it’s certainly dark, spinning an industrial edge to the form. The result is very, very dark indeed.