Traversing the extreme reveals minutiae which many can miss. Take, for instance, Belgian doomed black metal band Alkerdeel, whose upcoming Slonk once again redefines their already hard-to-pin-down sound.

"We get asked [about our genre] a lot," says vocalist Jeroen Pede over a Skype call (full transcription incoming). Are they sludge? Are they black metal? This question has been asked over and over again, at least since the 2007 tape release of their Luizig demo. "I personally think we are just a mid-paced black metal band."

Intent is key when discussing metal, especially when one gets into the more difficult-to-define nooks and crannies of genre ontology. On one hand, Alkerdeel is slack-tuned, slow, and crushing. On the other, there is a definite black metal aggression: something minimal and primal, set aside from sludge's deliberation and blues-forward melodicisms. In new track "Zop"'s (which can be streamed below in a collaboration with Dutch site Addergebroed) case, the world sees one side of Alkerdeel's bifurcated sound, leaning heavily into their early-to-mid 1990s black metal influences. It is pummeling, ignorant, and, atop everything else, it carries an atmosphere which is undeniably black metal. Does it mean Slonk is unilaterally of one style? Certainly not. This new album has many faces and an identity in flux. Alkerdeel simply is Alkerdeel, and that is more than enough for this listener.

Watch an exclusive video premiere of "Zop" below.

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Slonk releases February 5th on Babylon Doom Cult Records and Consouling Sounds.