Feb 092024

We’ve been following the progress of the Dutch black metal band Verwoed (the solo project of Erik Bleijenberg), and becoming increasingly intrigued and viscerally moved by each successive release. And so it was exciting news to learn that Wolves of Hades and Argento Records will be releasing a new Verwoed album named The Mother on March 29th. Getting the chance to premiere a song from it was another thrill.

The song is called “The Madman’s Dance“, and madness does burn within the music, with such intensity and such wholly enveloping power that it’s easy to feel consumed by it, witnessing not merely derangement but bloody splendor.

The song also shows that Verwoed isn’t shackled by the conventions of black metal, but pulls from other genre wellsprings, including (as we hear it) the heft of post-metal and sludge.

To add icing to the cake, Verwoed has shared with us (and now you) that the song owes a debt to the late great Cormac McCarthy:

The Madman’s Dance is an ode to those different from the horde, to those walking the untrodden roads towards revelation and bliss.

Lyrically this song is heavily inspired by Cormac McCarthy‘s masterpiece Blood Meridian. Excerpt:

‘In ruins and flames we march ever on, through smoke and fire – a madman’s dance, in the eyes of a fool’

This madman’s dance begins in a way that quickly seizes attention, with one shrill sound that pulsates like a feverish heart, against a backdrop of other tones that flicker and wail. The entire audio collage is a mix of abrasion and clarity, of borderline franticness and unsettling eeriness. It’s the first clue that Verwoed has used a great deal of care in creating a sonic palette that will best suit the vision that birthed this piece.

The contrasts in that palette soon become evident, through the emergence of immense bone-vibrating bass tones and drums that sound like boulders tumbling in a landslide. When the rhythm bolts into a gallop, the high-frequency collage expands, like the raging sweep of a wildfire fueled by high winds.

The reverberating vocals cut through the tumult and the blaze, themselves an expression of madness — savagely crying out and screaming, with both grit and blood in the throat.

The music changes as it goes — throbbing and causing muscles to move, racing and ravaging, gloriously soaring, and slowly ringing like warped bells over a hammering heart-beat groove. An extended guitar solo (by Verwoed‘s guest by Georgios Maxouris) soulfully wails while other guitars flash and flicker above the enormous subterranean movements of the bass and the spinal blows of the percussion.

Only near the end does the drumming in this turbulent and tormented track vanish, and the song then begins (briefly) to sound wistful and forlorn, with notes that might have moaned from a cello.

And so, as the labels tell us about The Mother as a whole, the song does indeed prove to be “eclectic, evocative, and utterly cathartic”.



The Mother was recorded and produced by Georgios Maxouris, and it was mixed and mastered by Pieter Kloos at The Void Studios. Credit for the album’s fascinating cover art goes to Joost Vervoort.

Georgios Maxouris not only performed the guitar solo on “The Madman’s Dance“, he also provided additional guitars on the album’s title song and “The Child”.

Wolves of Hades and Argento will release The Mother on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats. For more info, check the links below.

And speaking of “The Child”, that was the album’s first single. You can listen to it below too.



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