Belgium brutalists Alkerdeel set about their new album Slonk as though they are trying to preserve the very essence of black metal for future generations. These four tracks are a restless rollercoaster of a ride. So hold onto your hat. And everything else.
With scissored riffwork, pummeling drums and fingernails down a blackboard vocals Slonk is a furious feast of distorted extremities strangled to within an inch of its life.
Think of the worst things that could happen to the world and then find a soundtrack to match the script. That’s kind of what Alkerdeel have done here on the band’s enticing follow-up to 2016’s Lede.
Usually these blasphemous shards of Luciferian love are projected at you with a magnificently horned goat on the sleeve. Alkerdeel have opted for a rabbit, albeit a pretty mean looking one. That though is the only furry friend you’ll find here.
From the opening merciless march of ‘Vier,’ once the initial eerie calm is vanquished, through to the repetitive painful pounding of ‘Zop’ through to the closing tumultuous ‘Trok,’ Alkerdeel prostrate themselves at your feet, baring their soul and the horror stories that lie within it.
There is also a deep void about Alkerdeel’s soundscapes, a hollow shell, in which it seems everything is slipping through their fingers into some horrifying abyss. This is the sound of the asylum, amplified, and then set loose into the world. Nothing survives these atrophic Alkerdeel attacks.
While paying homage to past masters of the genre, the Belgians’ devilish delivery is in itself life-enhancing as it grabs you by the jugular and spits proudly into your face. The band’s fourth album will take up 37 minutes of your time but will stay with you much longer than that.
Review by Paul Castles