Black Nazareth

It was in 2017 that Menno Gootjes approached Henry McIlveen with some ideas for a metal/rock album. As they previously worked together successfully in Threnody it was like coming home to start writing together again. Even though this new project seemed far away from the pioneering progressive metal they made with Threnody it was experimental in every way. With the passing of every session slowly the focus of the project started to shift in a more rock-oriented approach. It was time to find some vocals!

End of 2018 Daniël de Jongh joined the team. Daniël past experience with progressive metal heroes Textures and other rock projects gave him a fitting profile for where the music was leading.

The road to completion was a long one. Menno’s engagements with the progressive rock veterans of Focus kept him on the road for extended periods. It wasn’t until end of 2019 that Martijn Spierenburg joined the band. The sound needed something more and Martijn’s experience with the hit scoring symphonic metal band Within Temptation gave that much extra. We had a line-up!

The name Black Nazareth is related to the city, Schiedam, where we started. The nickname of Schiedam is “Black Nazareth”. Schiedam is a city in the west of the Netherlands. It is located in the Rotterdam metropolitan area, west of Rotterdam and south of Delft. The city is known for its historical center with canals, and for having the tallest windmills in the world. Schiedam is also well known for the distilleries and malthouses and production of jenever (gin) so much so that in French and English the word schiedam (usually without a capital s-) refers to the town's Holland gin. This was the town's main industry during the early Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century, a dark period to which it owed its former nickname "Zwart Nazareth" or "Black Nazareth”. It is uncertain what the real origin is from this name but legend has it that the city was blackened of all the coal, the citizens were drunk of the alcohol fumes and god had forsaken the town. "What good can come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46).

To capture the true and dark spirit of Black Nazareth, a while ago it was decided to work with the amazingly talented star-photographer Mark Engelen on what became a series (additional here and here) that the band is so very proud of! Shot at their home base Schiedam’s Loopuyt Fight club, hosted by none other than Loopuyt Gin.

The finalising of tracks had started, and there are many of them. The first track of these was released by the end of 2020. The track Rivers Run Deep was released on December 4, 2020.

The band realised that releasing music during a global pandemic wasn’t most ideal, but waiting for another year was also not an option, so the group decided to release a song every month for the time being, and every release was to be followed by a video-clip. January 2021 the first video for Rivers Run Deep was out. Next releases are planned up to July 2021. And writing sessions still continue even during lockdowns, remote writing meetings work too. Follow us on social media for more day-to-day updates or on

Rivers Run Deep (December 4, 2020, video January 22, 2021)
Waiting for Tomorrow (January 29, 2021, video February 5, 2021)
Ride (March 5, 2021, video March 12, 2021)
Cold as Stone (April 9, 2021, video April 16, 2021)
Heroes (May 14, 2021, video May 21, 2021)
Thrive (June 25, 2021)

Black Nazareth is:
Daniël de Jongh – Vocals
Martijn Spierenburg – Keys and programming
Menno Gootjes – Guitar
Henry McIlveen – Bass
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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