Review Summary: They make a very nice pair together.
Looks like Hoest is really into this “split series”. And to be frank: there is nothing to complain about them in terms of quality. Accompanied by the fellow Norwegian riff-crafters of Helheim, Henholdsvis
is now the third Taake split in a row. Their match may look odd at first due to certain differences in style, but I’d say the synergy is present between them. Let’s have a closer look!
Side Taake: Hoest by himself, is still an unstoppable force of the Norwegian black metal horde, especially as a well-known riff-crafter and quite popular guest vocalist in several bands. Other than being so active, his unique t(a)ake on the genre with his unmistakable jammy and groovy style (and not to mention banjos), and of course that outstandingly solid discography elevated him to the Norwegian scene’s elite in time. Since the last Taake LP, our hunger for new material has been dampened only by three split releases for now, but to be ho(n)est: he hasn’t disappointed us so far. Henholdsvis
feels like the natural continuation of the previous releases, but this time he drew inspiration from the Norwegian authoress, Arne Garborg’s works. And the result? The well-known and well-crafted riff floods á la Taake
Side Helheim is… a bit different. They are connected to Taake in multiple ways (sharing members time to time, same studio engineer etc.), and personally seeing them work together was a welcomed surprise, and resulted in a great listening experience. It is important to note that they went through a few changes in their style, currently residing in a “blackened progressive viking rock” territory today. It is not easy to summarize what the listener should expect from them, but the resemblances to the classic Enslaved, the black metal Ulver, and the viking-era Bathory are clear (with perhaps some hints of Katatonia’s melancholy as well?). Classification aside, one thing is for sure: their latest phase is fairly exciting. Their share in the split was also very unique due to the unusual choice of songs: instead of presenting some completely new material, they presented two interesting covers. The first was, most interestingly, one of Taake’s best songs ”Orkan”
, where they managed to capture a completely new side of the song. It got far slower, and the playful experiments with effect pedals along with the very well executed clean vocals brought a completely fresh melancholic vibe into the track. The second cover was Emperor’s ”Witches’ Sabbath”
(in the album: ”Heksesabbat”
) where they repeated the same magic trick: re-imagining the song to make it sound more like their own. Sadly the synths are gone, but they somehow balanced it out with a more adventurous vocal performance, which is a notable effort the least.
The result of pairing these bands together was a really successful experiment, because they managed to structure their contrasts into a peculiar yet well-flowing album. Henholdsvis
is among the better splits a black metal fan could find, yet they’d probably desire some more: 2x2 songs isn’t really that much.