Taake
Kong Vinter


3.7
great

Review

by ATARI STAFF
November 23rd, 2017 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rock and fucking roll!? Hey…wait a sec…

If the artwork for every black metal album ever conceived was a dark-robed figure walking through a snow-covered forest, I'd be completely ok with it. On a side note, it doesn't hurt when the artist plays some of the coldest Norwegian black metal currently available. Taake - the conduit for longtime member “Hoest’s” pain and despair - has remained true its ancestral roots since the formation of the band in the ‘90s. Desolate, frozen landscapes of Bergen are painted with ease through tortured shrieks and guitars that are sinisterly dark in tone; a sound that’s as potent as ever on Kong Vinter (which translates to King Winter, pretty badass, eh").

Yet, despite replicating a frost-bitten December throughout its entirety, Kong Vinter isn’t without some devilishly playful experimentation – most notably in some of the album’s more groove-oriented cuts. Lead single “Inntrenger” shows this off early on, as the muddy guitars are abruptly traded for unexpectedly melodic riffing that has rock and roll written all over it. These detours could be distracting, but Hoest has a special knack for keeping his footing grounded through a massive range of guitar-driven dynamics. The opening track, “Sverdets Vei” is top-notch Taake: a condensed offering that crams these opposing sounds into an aggressive, but vibrantly bright number. It’s the way Hoest combines these time-trusted black metal blueprints with his flashy guitar-work that makes Taake so uniquely accessible.

For an album named after the dead cold of winter, Kong Vinter is oddly varied. Instead of a crushing snow storm, it plays out more like a sporadically fierce flurry – giving the listener a chance to take in a landscape veiled in fog beneath their feet. It never really slows down or goes into ballad territory, but the countless key changes and mood shifts make it feel less suffocating at times. Admittedly, whether this is a good thing comes down to personal preference, but Hoest’s choice to not simply bury us with an unwavering avalanche of sound throughout Kong Vinter sets it apart from the beaten path. This is still second wave black metal worship at its core, but it never limits itself - as Hoest constantly challenges himself instrumentally.

Starting off with such strong promise, Kong Vinter seems to lose some punch towards its tail-end, but it redeems itself. Just when you think you have the album figured out, it concludes with one of Taake’s most ambitious tracks: an 11-minute tour de force of instrumentation that ditches Hoest’s cavernous vocals for a whirlwind of layered guitars and twisted bass. Playing all the instruments himself, the album’s increased momentum comes roaring forward in one final blow of passionate musicianship. It’s simply monolithic, and a fine representation of Kong Vinter as a whole. To honor the second wave black metal aesthetic, while also continuing to push the envelope is an admirable and rare feat. With a potent mixture of tremolo riffing and a touch of oldschool rock music, it’s the first wintry mix of the season: it just might not be in the form you were expecting.




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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


22808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

check Inntrenger

https://taake.bandcamp.com/album/kong-vinter



funny how question marks work in the summary but not the review. wanted to get this out now because I won't have time later this weekend. it's pretty cool but also quite different than I was expecting





Digging: Amy Shark - Night Thinker

necropig
November 23rd 2017


3081 Comments


Different you say? Shall check

Digging: Epheles - Souviens-Toi

BlackwaterPork
November 23rd 2017


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review mate, definitely will be checking this

Digging: Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


22808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Different but also familiar. It has a lot of guitar-work I wouldn't normally associate with bm, while mixing it seamlessly with exactly the kind of playing I'd expect, haha.



Cheers Pork, hope u dig it!



SCREAM!
November 23rd 2017


15105 Comments


"most notably in some of the album’s more groove-oriented cuts. Lead single “Inntrenger” shows this off early on, as the muddy guitars are abruptly traded for unexpectedly melodic riffing that has rock and roll written all over it. These detours could be distracting, but Hoest keeps his footing grounded in Taake’s signature sound "

That's because that sort of always has been his signature sound. One of my favourite examples is IV off Bjoergvin. The end of that track suddenly goes into full party mode with the upbeat melodic leads, synths yet somehow it all fits together.
Then of course there is the infamous banjo solos from later releases. Hoest has sort of always done whatever the hell he feels like and it always works.

Xenophanes
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


896 Comments


Super excited for this actually. It’s sitting in Olympus but I’ll probably just wait to listen on Spotify.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

Crysis
Emeritus
November 23rd 2017


17303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is the only taake LP where hoest isn't facing the camera on the album cover



as expected this riffs hard and i enjoy it

Digging: Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial

Nazzadan
November 23rd 2017


1598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My favorite BM band can't wait to check m/

Still haven't gotten my signed copy of their new EP so I haven't jammed that yet either

necropig
November 23rd 2017


3081 Comments


Wow, crysis that dp is the shit

ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


22808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

@Scream, can't tell if that's meant as a criticism or not but I'm willing to make changes if needed :] I don't have extensive knowledge of Taake's full discog, but I dig how it honors 2nd wave bm traditions while also branching out. And based on what I've heard, this stays true to that formula



BlackwaterPork
November 23rd 2017


2341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Have you heard their first three records Atari?

They are BM essentials

ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


22808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

In passing, but been listening to this one the most. I'd heard good things about Taake for years, but I've clearly been missing out

Crysis
Emeritus
November 23rd 2017


17303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

His first three records are essential listening, some of the best guitar riffs in black metal.

SCREAM!
November 23rd 2017


15105 Comments


"@Scream, can't tell if that's meant as a criticism or not but I'm willing to make changes if needed :] I don't have extensive knowledge of Taake's full discog, but I dig how it honors 2nd wave bm traditions while also branching out. And based on what I've heard, this stays true to that formula"

That's just it I guess, this has always been sort of his "formula" and why Taake has been able to stand out for so long and the way that part is worded seems to imply like this is something new for the band rather than what they've always done (the way I read it anyway).
Otherwise though the review does a good job describing the sound (or I assume it does anyway, I'll know for sure once I get to hear it in full!).

Scoob
November 23rd 2017


4232 Comments


Is this somewhat close to the quality of the first album

Tyrael
November 23rd 2017


21083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Are there banjos on this one

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

ATARI
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2017


22808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

No banjos, haha



And I gotcha Scream. I was more trying to explain how this stands out from most bm as a whole than in relation to their past works. Might see if I can word it differently later, just not gonna blow smoke and act like I've been listening to them for years lol





kingdedethefifth
November 23rd 2017


4606 Comments


Dig the review. I should get on Taake some day, one of my friends personal favorites.

Nazzadan
November 24th 2017


1598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hoest posted today that they finally got the vinyl of the EP and LP and are gonna start shipping them :DAB:

kris.
November 24th 2017


14671 Comments


haven't listen to any taake aside from hordalands but inntrenger fucking rules



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