Verwoed – The Mother Review

Band: Verwoed
Album: The Mother
Wolves of Hades, Argento Records
Atmospheric black metal
Release Date:
March 29th, 2024

Did you miss me? I wish I had more time to write lately, but grad school is a bitch. Anyways I finally found the motivation to put something together, and it’s something that might go under the radar for most people.

Dutch black metal project Verwoed is a solo project by Erik Bleijenberg out of Utrecht, Netherlands. I’d never heard of this band until I heard the promotional single, and it quickly caught my attention because it accomplishes something that few bands can seem to do: make slow and repetitive black metal good.

The name of the game with Verwoed is layers. The album makes use of acoustic guitars, assorted percussion, and effects to blend everything together, and the production is spot-on: perfectly balanced to hear everything without sacrificing tonality. Much of the album has a rhythmic, almost tribal feeling, with drums and assorted percussion laying the groundwork beneath a central motif repeated ad nauseum. Each song builds on its central motif with rising intensity before a fluid resolution.

Dissonance is used sparingly, creating tension in only brief moments and resolving said tension effectively. Much of the tonal variation is built on this interplay between the lead motif and the chords, where dissonant strikes occur in brief moments during intense sections and fade away during calmer passages. Fifth track “The Madman’s Dance” is a great example of this, building tension in the first half of the track and resolving it with extended, emotive guitar solos toward the back half.

Ultimately, I was surprised by how much I liked this- on the surface it seems like exactly the kind of thing I would find aggressively boring. But instead I found myself appreciating its hypnotic quality, and my interest is kept alive by its surprising emotional complexity and creativity. Where The Mother differs from other similar projects is in its adherence to structure. Similar projects tend to forego the conflict-resolution structure in favor of a one-dimensional, “we-wanna-sound-as-scary-as-possible” approach that quickly becomes monotonous to my ears. Verwoed do the opposite, taking a more traditional approach to atmosphere that is naturally more dynamic and more satisfying in the end. The Mother is a meticulously-crafted package of hypnotic atmospheric black metal that is thoroughly effective and surprisingly creative.

Rating: 7/10


  1. A Prayer of Blood and Fire
  2. The Mother
  3. Seven Trumpets
  4. The Child
  5. The Madman’s Dance
  6. A Choir of Null and Void
  7. Death in a Rosary

Total Playing Time: 43:45

Click here to visit Verwoed’s Bandcamp.