Vreid
Pitch Black Brigade

Rising from the tragic ashes of Windir, Norway’s Vreid (Wrath) continue to move away from the pagan/Viking tones of Windir and build on the fine debut, Kraft.Pitch Black Brigade is a black metal album at its dark, pulsing heart, but it’s a bold and creative form of black metal that introduces some grimy black ‘n’ roll elements, some experimentation and some envelope pushing moments wrapped up withing the typically cold and biting Norwegian

The gritty, black ‘n’ roll tracks like “Left To Hate,” “Pitch Black,” “Our Battle” and “Hang ‘Em All” are pleasing, rollicking tracks of nihilistic simplicity, and will please most ardent fans of new Dark Throne, Witchery, etc., but for me personally the album’s more adventurous tracks were more entertaining. The militaristic/acoustic duality of “The Red Smell,” the epic (9+ minutes) synth/programming laden and very Enslaved-ish standout “Hengebj’rki,” and brilliant techno beat interludes of “Eit Kapitell For Seg Sj’lv” are far willing to break traditional black metal structures and show a forward thinking take on black metal that the likes of Arcturus, Fleurety, Enslaved also deliver, but still maintaining black metal’s dark, bleak atmosphere.

The Studio 1184 production (Dismember, Darkthrone) is fitting as it presents both side of Vreid’s sound and wraps up Pitch Black Brigade with a cold yet full sound making for a complete and incredibly competent album that should elevate Vreid within the genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 10th, 2006

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