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Alkerdeel > Luizig > Reviews > drengskap
Alkerdeel - Luizig

Belgian, belligerent and bewildering - 80%

drengskap, July 13th, 2008

Now this is a surpassingly strange piece of work. Scottish label At War With False Noise are responsible for this CD re-release of Luizig’s demo, which originally appeared last year on cassette in a tiny edition of 66 copies – and if you heard this in its original form, then mister, you’re a hipper man than I! Luizig was originally released by cult Belgian label Funeral Folk, also home to Silvester Anfang (whose Kosmies Slachtafval album is excellent). The three members of Alkerdeel include members of Leng Tch'e and Headmeat, which are apparently well-known names in grindcore circles. Belgium seems to be a bit of a hotbed for grindcore, crust and extreme death metal, but I’m straying pretty far from my field of competence here, so I’ll shut up before I say something totally foolish and ignorant.


Luizig consists of a single 21-minute track, opening as fast, basic black metal, with truly horrific lo-fi production – tinpot drums, gargled vocals and an undifferentiated buzzing rumble of teeth-grinding guitar. I’m not even sure whether there‘s a bass on here or not, it’s so low and fuzzy. After three minutes or so, it slows down into brutal distorted sludge, which in turn gives way to scraping violin, and odd fragments of dialogue in French and what sounds like Japanese, before Alkerdeel launch back into some super-heavy doom riffing, clanging cowbell and bestial, roaring vocals. And so it goes – this sounds like a live rehearsal room tape of a band trying on different extreme metal styles for size, interrupted by ambient pauses, and finally straggling raggedly to a halt as a man talks in French. One last brief grindcore-style blast, some muffled laughter and suddenly it’s all over. However chaotic and aimless it seems on first impressions, Luizig somehow hangs together, as unlikely as that may sound, and the end result is incredibly savage, filthy and distorted, as heavy and ferocious as anything you’ll ever hear, and just as kvlt as fuck.


Alkerdeel share some characteristics with their labelmates Silvester Anfang. There’s the same wilful obscurity, dark aesthetics and artfully contrived primitivism, but Alkerdeel’s arduous, raw cacophony is a lot more severe, having more in common with underground black metal damage cases like Ildjarn, Beherit and Ride For Revenge. There’s no doubt that it’s necessary to have a well-developed palate for the perverse to derive enjoyment from music this barbaric and crude when you could be listening to something, you know, tuneful and well-produced instead. But if you like a bit of rough, Alkerdeel deliver the goods. Luizig is the kind of release it’s all too easy to become obsessed with – which is by no means helpful when you have dozens of other albums impatiently awaiting review. Who are these people? Why are they making this unholy racket? What does it all mean? I’ve listened to this weird little work loads of times now and I’m none the wiser. But I’m intrigued, for sure.


Luizig comes very nicely packaged in a black card wraparound sleeve, screen-printed in dark grey with artwork by the celebrated Decadent Aubrey Beardsley, depicting Salome with the head of St. John the Baptist, and an engraving of the Beast of Gévaudan, a werewolf which terrorised rural France in the 18th century. The mystery deepens… but there are only 500 of these suckers in existence, and they’re going fast, so be quick or remain forever bereft and benighted in outer darkness.


This review was originally written for Judas Kiss webzine:
www.judaskissmagazine.co,uk