Review Summary: Break out the banjo, boys.
It is only recently that I have discovered the immense black metal force that is Taake. This one-man band name is tossed around many circles, and yet somehow for years I put off the cold, wintry masterpieces that are the band's first 3 records. What Taake manages to do is take all the qualities that make no-nonsense black metal so good and amplify them tenfold. Behind layers of fuzz, tremolo riffs conjure winter storms, with powerful drumming pummeling you like an avalanche and high-pitched shrieks summoning the most shredding winter winds. With that being said, little changes here aside from a somewhat clearer production and a segment of legendary jaw-dropping banjo (I will soon get to that).
“Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed” is as good an opener as Taake has ever done. Everything is brimming with energy as ferocious vocals and guitar melodies lash at you. This pretty much sets the pace for the entire record. Ripping tremolo’s subtly intertwined with melodies, cold, relentless vocals, and relentless drumming (with enough changes in pattern to remain intriguing, that is) are what this album aims for, and damn does it deliver. In spite of this, it doesn’t quite
hit the levels of quality that previous Taake records have done before. To be fair, that level of quality isn’t something easy to attain once, let alone several times.
The only legitimate flaw on this album would be, as you guessed....the banjo solo. Why did U. Hoest think this was a good idea one might ask, to which I imagined he would respond with a prompt “*** you, that’s why”. It’s playful and bouncy for sure, which is probably why it feels so disjointed when placed in the epic riff-oriented track that is “Myr”. Still, this might get a hearty chuckle out of most, so perhaps even that isn’t totally throwaway. So here it is. Another worthy addition to the still expanding Taake discography. It riffs, it rips, it banjo’s away. You will headbang, head nod, foot tap, do the ***ing tango, and have a damn good time through 46 minutes of “Trve Norwegian black metal”.