June 18, 2013

Taake - Noregs Vaapen

Review by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Infamous Norwegian black metal band Taake emerge from a cloud of scandal and imprisonment to triumphantly release Noregs Vaapen, their best record to date. Taake is an old Norwegian word for mist or fog. The band belie this name with an incredibly clear, concise artistic vision characterized by icicle-bright guitar work. Noregs Vaapen can be interpreted as a response to the dissatisfaction in the black metal community; it is a reflective, celebratory, anthemic album hearkening back to the finest classical black metal.

The tracks on Noregs Vaapen all have very linear song structures, as opposed to the circular compositions on a great deal of contemporary black metal. The vocals hiss and ooze like poisonous fumes, somehow both splinter-thin and complex. There's even an extraordinary banjo solo in "Myr," which is a battle lusty as it is twangy. Taake have a few stylistic surprises tucked into this brilliantly executed, classical structure. This is as smart as it is slavering and vicious.

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