Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Taake - Noregs Vaapen

01. Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed
02. Orkan
03. Nordbundet
04. Du Ville Ville Vestland
05. Myr
06. Helvetesmakt
07. Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta

Ok, for the uninitiated again, Taake is a one-man Norwegian Black Metal project, the creative project of Ulvhedin Hoest.  Hoest blends thrashy black metal with some punk influences and all sorts of other influences.  This lends to creating the BEST current Black Metal band...there... I said it.

I've loved Taake since I first heard the Ummeneske single a couple years back, and everything I check out by this guy is solid fucking gold.  Noregs Vaapen is no different.

 From the epic intro riff to "Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed" to the epic outro riff of "Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta" there is no let down here.  Every song has it's own genius and all are worth listening to.

Hoest's trademarked vocal sound is at it's best here; the high piercing vocals screaming like a banshee out of hell with a serious vendetta against someone.  Never do you feel that he's straining to maintain the wonderfully evil sounding screech he has perfected and never fails to impress.  Hoest's vocals aren't the only ones worth mentioning though, as this album has an all-star lineup of guest vocals.  Fenriz from Darkthrone on "Fra Vadested", Attila Csihar from Mayhem on "Nordbundet", Demonaz from Immortal on "Du Ville Ville Vestland", can it really get any better than that?  Fenriz' contribution is the most notable for sure and really works perfectly with the pace of "Fra Vadested", creating a kind of punk feeling that is reminiscent of current Darkthrone material.

The guitars on this album sound better than they ever have on a Taake album, and the level of production is almost "sacrilegious" in the world of Black Metal, but really allows the listener to hear all the layers of guitar and bass work that are going on here.  The same can really be said for the drums, everything sounds great and the production quality is unmatched so far in Taake's catalog.

A few specific moments I want to point out.  As I've mentioned, the beginning riff of the first song is epic and wonderfully grips the listener and drags them kicking and screaming straight into the onslaught that is this album.  The tone of "Orkan" is much different, providing a brooding feeling that contrasts beautifully with the first songs upbeat nature.  The crazy soaring solo that ends "Du Ville Ville Vestland" is beautiful as well and lends something that is very lacking in Black Metal (awesome solos).  The next thing I'm going to mention is probably the most noted on this album and something that is reallllly fucking cool.  The banjo solo at 3:20 of "Myr" is possibly the best thing I've ever heard done with Black Metal and made me burst out laughing and mess my pants at the same time.  It's so fun and random, yet works flawlessly with the black metal atmosphere.  It's something that makes you go "Fuck Yeah!" and just kicks the track from the realm of "Great" to "Orgasmic" in an instant.  Seriously, go listen to it, now.  The soaring shrieking guitar work of "Helvetesmakt" is great too and worth noting.  Well...what isn't worth noting in this album?

TL;DR - this album is perfect...simply perfect...and even Taake is gonna have a hard time topping it (then again I thought that about Taake's 2008 self-titled).  If you haven't heard Taake yet and you love Black Metal you need to stop whatever you are doing right now and go listen to this album.

I may never do this again, because it's hard for me to do for any album, but I'm doing it for this album.

Rating: 6/6 - BEST ALBUM OF 2011.

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