2011 has been a great year for thrash, death, and black metal. Hell, even for prog metal. Each one has seen the release of several new staples for their respective genres. It’s hard to say which is dominating completely, but Taake’s Noregs Vaapen is definitely another home run in the black metal field. The band’s fifth studio album embraces a more diverse sound while still furiously dishing out their respected black metal. Guest appearances include Attila Csihar(Mayhem), Demonaz(Immortal), and Nocturno Culto(Darkthrone). Need I say more? Ice-cold melody abounds on this album, but there’s also a nice black n’ roll groove element that makes the songs really stand out. Then, you have the chilling mellotron adding to the atmosphere. It all works together creating a tight mix of black metal that deviates from the path a little.
While including new elements and embracing a more unpredictable path, Taake still manage to churn out blistering black metal. “Fra Vadested Til” starts things off in a blaze of mainman Hoest’s signature riffing melded together with haunting melody to carve out the dark path that lies ahead. Things continue on in super tight fashion in a whirlwind of icy black metal that completely overtakes the listener. On “Du Ville Ville Vestland” that nice black n’ roll groove swings in completely turning the already established black metal assault completely upside down. Taake pull this off exceptionally well. It adds a nice catchy aspect to the music.
If there’s ever a song on this album people are going to hate on it’s “Myr.” This song is a make or break, love or hate move for Taake. There is absolutely no grey area. It storms in with a furious mix of swift riffing and drumming before falling into a nice, chilling groove. Then comes the banjo solo. Yes, you read that right. A banjo solo. And, you know what? It sounds fucking sick! It fits in perfectly with the groove Taake create so well and takes things in a bold, adventurous direction. The final track is the majestic “Dei Vil Alltid Klaga Og Kyta.” It blasts the listener full force with hellish black metal, solid grooving, and melody. Every single track on this album is great, and it’ll easily pull you back in again and again.
Noregs Vaapen is a must have black metal release. It’s harsh, unforgiving black metal full of surprises. Taake aren’t afraid to shake things up a bit. Sure, purists are going to whine and complain. Will Hoest care? Doubtful. He should be pretty used to turning heads by now and catching criticism. Regardless, this is one of the best black metal releases of the year. If it isn’t on your winter play list them something is terribly wrong.