The Netherlands may be small, but this scenic, friendly country has more or less got the market cornered on soul-sucking doom, mind-bending psychedelia and toke-totin’ stoner rock, thanks to the mighty riff Mecca that is Roadburn. There’s plenty of homegrown evil lurking through the tidy streets of Tilburg, Eindhoven, et al, and Groningen collective Herder are a particularly ugly example. Their latest release, the ‘Horror Vacui’ EP, came out on Reflections Records just before the new year dawned and is a nasty chunk of lumbering, miasmal doom that could’ve just as easily clambered out of a Georgia swamp, and should serve them well when they hit the stage come this year’s edition of Roadburn. The understated Southern influence bleeds through in the riffs’ occasional bluesy swagger; the rest of the time, Herder stick to their guns and hit hard, all tense chords, hardcore barks, feedback whine and near-fatal slugs of sludge.
“We are attracted to hard and extreme music, with a fucked up atmosphere. Although most Herder members come from a different musical background whether that’s black metal, death metal or hardcore, we are all attracted to the darkness and what it has to offer,” bassist Blitzer told us of their sound. Given his tenure in alcoholic sound terrorists Urfaust, the man is clearly no stranger to strangeness and ill temper, and not even their homeland’s storied tolerance of heady ganja vibes can calm these misanthropes down. “Everyday life and the struggle to get along with the human garbage that walks these goddamn streets supplies us with enough hatred to write some fucked up, extreme shit. We might like the grass, but don’t mistake us for some fucking hippie reggae band that’s praising love!”
Well, we – and Herder – can’t be having that!
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