Name: Rik Wehrens (33)
Position: Assistant Professor iBMG
Type of reviews: Music albums at (some 10 per month)

I’ve been writing for, one of the larger webzines in the Netherlands dealing with all things metal, since 2004. I mainly write album reviews, but occasionally I also contribute concert reviews or a band interview. That’s something that comes out of my regular activities for Metalfan: the chance to talk with bands that I think are really good. I get to hear a bit more about how they work and how an album is realised. I’m not a fanboy or anything, but I usually ask them to sign my CD while I’m there. You won’t find me standing in line at a festival signing session however.

The thing I like most is when one of my reviews inspires discussion. This often means a band is doing something new – at which point the old guard tends to sign off, and they gain new fans. This leads to the most fantastic exchanges. It’s also nice when people read one of my reviews and say: oh, that sounds interesting, I’m going to check out that band.

The most difficult albums to review are the ones that sound exactly the same as the previous five albums put out by that band, and that tick all the boxes for the metal niche they are working in. This doesn’t make it a bad album per se, but you could hardly call it innovative. Because that’s what I’m into: bands like Deafheaven and Shining, which work in an existing genre but take it in a direction that is completely their own and add all sorts of progressive elements, like jazz, classical music or more acoustic post-rock sounds.