Kleefstra / Bakker / Kleefsta – “Dize”

The Kleefstra Brothers return to Midira Records with ‘Dize’ by Kleefstra / Bakker / Kleefstra.

Anne Chris Bakker, Romke Kleefstra and Jan Kleefstra joined forces a while ago and started releasing limited collaboration albums. Their sound is a fragile construct build of guitar drones by Romke Kleefstra and Anne Chris Bakker crowned by the unmistakable voice of Jan Kleefstra.

However, it is the language that Jan is using that gets me – Jan Kleefstra uses vocals in North Frisian, from the Netherlands – a rare language that is nearly dead. So, the socio-anthropological aspect of this album is heavy. How many more done-metal / North Frisian crossover albums will there be?

This is, however, one of the better ones – ‘Dize’ is a dark, brooding set of works. It takes you on a journey through the cold coast-land of the North and evokes the winds and waves of a storm tossed vista. The guitar work creates an atmosphere that gives you the creeps but the warm, soft voice of Jan Kleefstra makes you feel safe.

This album journeys between ambient, drone and cinematic soundscapes – but – I will pigeon-hole it as drone metal. It has the brooding menace of a caged lion – ready to disembowel should it break out of it’s cage. There is a menace behind this release – there is not denying that – but it is the menace of the sea.

With lyrics such as below, it is easy to see through the pale light of dawn that the Kleestra Bothers are embattled in a love/hate releationship with their locality. They are tied to it through kinship and heritage yet it will all be gone within a few generations.

“Winter has laid you bare
continuously a count too late moon rugs
woven through your closer silence.

Cold you draw a noose round the neck with netting twine.

Thick bulging veins melt darkness.

A day’s sleeping in does not mean
that the eggs grow cold
that the sun bursts apart.

In a handful of chewed-up sorrel
snow grows into rain.

Birches bleeding from her eyes.

Build a fence round the lowlands.”

Released on Midira Records, ‘Dize’ saw the pale light of dawn on February 17th 2017. ‘Dize’ is a 4-panel digisleeve and limited to 200 copies – it comes including lyrics and translations in to English.

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