Review Summary: One of the most, if not THE most consistent black metal band around these days, bar none.
Consistency is a big thing in the world of metal nowadays. A lot of bands put out a few good albums and then flourish under the pressures to keep releasing quality album after quality album every couple of years. One band who doesn't fold under that pressure is the Norwegian black metal band Vreid. Yes, a Norwegian black metal band that is still putting out quality material in the year 2011, it can happen. Vreid was formed after one of the most beloved band from the early Norwegian black metal scene, Windir, was broken up because of the unfortunate death of their frontman, Valfar. Ever since that time, Vreid has been putting out quality releases, mixing both melodic black metal and thrash metal all into their pot. And let me tell you, they haven't disappointed since their conception in 2004.
The best part about Vreid is that you pretty much know what to expect, but they just do everything so well that you can't even complain about it. Just like past albums, this album gives you a little bit of everything. With the guitars you'll either get thrashing and technical tremolo picking or you'll be hit with a solo that you would never expect to come from a black metal musician as well as some cleaner guitar parts. Drumming isn't just in the blast beating style like some other black metal band, they're extremely varied as well. giving you slower rhythmic type stuff or technical fills and even some military, drumline sounding stuff, such as at the beginning of Slave, along with the blast beats. This variance is one thing that Vreid has always been extremely good at on past albums such as I Krig
and they continue to prove it here on V
. If you're someone who likes to have your black metal switched up every once in a while, then Vreid is most definitely a band you'll want to look into.
As if it wasn't enough that they're extremely talented instrumentally, the vocals are also top-notch. Sture handles the vocals, as well as being a guitarist for the band. Let's just say the guy can multitask really damn well. His vocals are very raspy, but not to the point where you can't decipher what he's saying because he's quite understandable. That's not all though, he's a very talented clean vocalist as well. When you hear him go from menacing, venomous shrieks to almost a beautiful sounding clean style of vocals, it's pretty fantastic. Other vocalists have done this, but not a lot pull it off as well as Sture can.
Basically, this is an album for all fans of the early scene of Norwegian black metal, because not only do they pull of that style perfectly, they do it with good production values. As long as you're not someone who's a "trve kvlt purist," then you should be just fine with listening to this. Vreid gives you the epic feeling that they all had with Windir while also adding their own elements in to make it not sound like a clone or a copycat whatsoever. Being unique is something quite hard to come by in black metal these days and Vreid are one of the few who are truly consistent and put out quality albums every couple of years. Black metal fans need to take advantage.