Band – Oerheks
Album – Valkengebed
Country of Origin – Belgium
Genre – Black Metal
Release Date – October 23, 2023
Label – Amor Fati/Babylon Doom Cult
Author – Hayduke X
I’m nearly a month late on my review of this latest demo by the Flemish solo project, but I’m so entranced by it that I feel I still need to write about it. Honestly, I’ve been meaning to cover Oerheks since the initial demo, “Cagghenvinna.” That release very nearly made my top 50 in 2022. It was one of my very last cuts, and I’m still not convinced I made the correct choice. Across the three demos, including “Cagghenvinna,” “Landschapsanachronismen,” and now “Valkengebed,” the solo artist H. (also of Hypothermia, Silver Knife, and more) creates sonic landscapes which are near visual in their rich, bleak textures.
The work of Oerheks is ethereal, engrossing, mesmeric, and dives deep into the ether of the other. Layers of sound created by tremolo picked guitar, synth, drums, haunting vocals, and other unknowable sounds mesh into a swirling atmosphere of purposeful chaos and introversion. The tracks feel ritualistic without sounding like a ritual. The shimmering sonic fog created envelopes the listener in beauty and a slithering sense of unease.
This demo is reportedly about two hunters. The first track, Valkengebed translates to ‘falcon’s prayer,’ apparently a Dutch phrase apparently used to refer to the moment when a falcon is hovering in the air right before diving for the kill. The second track Blauwe Vleugels translates to ‘blue wings,’ referring to the herons which hunt in the swamps and marshes. Both hold that tension of the hunt, while also being suggestive of natural beauty.
Oerheks has quickly become one of my most watched black metal bands. I’m hopeful that the prolific tendencies of the artist continue and that we might get a full length sooner than later. I would love to see what H. brings with a wider canvas to paint upon.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. He is also a contributor to The Metal Wanderlust. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.