Hanghedief - Official Website

Overduyvelsche Boosheit

Belgium Country of Origin: Belgium

1. 1611, V.C.
2. 1634, K.M.
3. Meesters Van De Hooge Wercken
4. 1638, D.V.J.
5. Longing For The Ancient Kingdom II (Ancient Rites Cover)

Review by Carl on September 18, 2023.

One from the "awesome cover art" file. Just look at that! This cover takes us to the 17th century, where the Devil himself is taking down the belfry of the city of Bruges, while witches are being burned. That is an image so awesome, I just had to have that on my shelf, regardless of what the music would sound like. I am happy to be able to tell you that the gamble has paid off. It's been a while since I heard a good piece of malicious black metal like this.

This EP has the same atmosphere emanating from it as Fimbulwinter's "Servants Of Sorcery" or "F.M." by the Norwegian Raven. Hanghedief deal in unpolished black metal by Scandinavian recipe, with influences of the early works of Burzum, Infernum, Dark Funeral, Enthroned and Graveland. This release combines smatterings of keyboard ambience with tremelo picked guitar, screamed vocals and a very natural sounding production, totally devoid of unnecessary frills. This great mixture is bundled in a handful of atmospheric and varied black metal tracks that combines both barbaric speed and atmospheric ambience to great effect. It's a tried and tested formula, but the band handles these components in such a way that they create something totally their own. At times, there's a folk-y feel to the guitar work that references the true black metal years of Graveland and Infernum, and in combination with the well constructed compositions, Hanghedief manages to establish some memorable moments, even becoming catchy, yet without losing the vicious edge that music like this most certainly needs. Playing is excellent throughout, and this is aided in great part by the earthy and natural production. To the more pretentious ear, this sound may come across as unsophisticated, perhaps even grating, but for those more familiar with the sound and aesthetics of second wave black metal, this sounds nigh on perfect, capturing the spirit of 90's underground black metal perfectly. To close off this excellent EP, we get a great cover of the Ancient Rites (whose early work is felt in Hanghedief's music as well) classic 'Longing For The Ancient Kingdom II', my favorite track of that band right after 'Assyrian Empire'. Hanghedief delivers a bangin' rendition of the song, and even manages to insert a few touches of themselves into it, to great effect. This is the way to close out an already awesome release, if you ask me.

Overduyvelsche Boosheid is an excellent offering of excellent black metal that combines both seething aggression with awesome atmospherics, and knows how to mold this mixture into a set of well-crafted songs, exuding the spirit of the underground greats of 90's black metal. It's not only aimed at the nostalgic old farts (like me) out there, because this EP holds its ground in this day and age just as easily. This is powerful stuff, packaged in gorgeous artwork, with an impressive and certainly interesting historical concept embedded within. This is recommended stuff, for sure.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10