Taake
Noregs Vaapen

Taake needs no introduction based upon the three hundred potential friends Last.fm has lined up for me based on Taake in common. Noregs Vaapen features appearances from Nocturno Culto, Attila Csihar, and Demonaz. I’ll leave it to your explorations to find their contributions, for exploring this album is a task well taken up. The album was produced by Bjørnar E. Nilsen who provides his technical expertise to craft what I perceive to be the outcome the band was hoping for. Yet another worthy collaboration. Nilsen has done wonders for Helheim in years past as well so I was glad to hear he was still involved with Taake. I believe he contributed vocals as well. Taake fans should already know Helheim since Hoest has collaborated with them in the past, if not take note. The fog is still all encompassing but the production is singularly vibrant and powerful, thanks to Bjørnar’s touch.

I can think of many reasons why I listen to Taake but all those reasons can be expressed with “Du Ville Ville Vestland”, great riffs with timely repetition of said riffs that hammer them into the deepest recesses of your long term memory, a heavy drum presence without pulverizing all else and impeccable rhythm, and cool shrieked vocals, not shrieked like the old days, but you can’t have everything. Add in excellent solos and you have what every band aspires to have, no doubt.

Over the years Taake have slowed and taken the time to smell the flowers and now they are coming up roses. I defy you to say they have committed sacrilege to their roots, it’s all in here. Hel, they even revisit female vocals. Everything that meant anything on the first three albums is still evident but now we have the power of a realized presentation, songs are crafted to make use of various motifs and borrowed styles are integrated where they need be, not as window dressing or a swipe to build a song around. The atmospherics with spoken word rival anything they’ve ever attempted in that department.

Just to pick a familiar example, “Hordaland VI”, the homage piece, showcases their folk stylings. A cool song for its obvious swipe, fit in very well with the Taake sound of the day but would stand out glaringly on Noregs Vaapen. Those same stylings are still evident but contain the singular stamp of Hoest. Add to that so called black and roll grooves and ‘white trash banjo’ and one can see the template is expanding, yet no worries, satisfaction endures, from the first spin to the twenty first spin. Their fifth studio album is well worth the effort. I will not even tell you about the cool melodic line starting at the four minute mark of “Myr”, it is a surprise worth discovering.

As much as I enjoy the first three albums and will continue to play them I am currently willing to say this their fifth album is their best to date. I am partial to “Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed”, “Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta” and “Du Ville Ville Vestland” but all are worthy, seriously.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
November 28th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    the banjo is nuts. ballsy move.


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