Monday, December 10, 2018 13:58

Posts Tagged ‘Dark Essence Records’

TAAKE – KONG VINTER 2LP (Dark Essence Records / Svartekunst Produksjoner)

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Taake - Kong VinterHoest has been creating great old-style Norwegian Black Metal under the Taake banner for more than two decades and last year saw the genesis of seventh full-length, ‘Kong Vinter’. The vinyl edition of the album is wonderful, with two sturdy records housed in a gatefold jacket.

The artwork is really nice and I particularly like the photo on the inside of the cover, which conjures a tremendous sense of solitude and detachment. As does the main image on the front, to be fair. The music is enjoyable, too, I daresay. Soaring, chugging epic ‘Maanebrent’ is probably the highlight but all eight tracks (including one vinyl-only bonus) are top notch.

The imagery is all about coldness, solitude and isolation. A loner. While musically it would be fair to say that Taake isn’t quite ploughing a lone furrow, there are fewer and fewer bands with this genuine, olden Black Metal vibe still intact – and the fact that there are no real surprises is almost a (welcome) surprise in itself these days.

Did I mention the poster? Hail Taake!

Evilometer: 666/666

SARKOM – DOOMSDAY ELITE (Dark Essence Records)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Sarkom - Doomsday EliteSolid. That’s the word that best describes Sarkom’s third full-length venture, ‘Doomsday Elite’. Without ever being spectacular or mandatory, this eight-track album is nonetheless admirable and impressive. What it lacks in oomph, it more than delivers in terms of good old dependability. Bottom line: 40 minutes or so of strong, pounding, in-your-face-ish Black Metal with lots of melody (perhaps even too much) and enough variety to satisfy even the most forward-looking prick.

It veers close to black ‘n’ roll at times but, mercifully, never quite gets there. The production (and delivery and everything along those lines) is nigh on perfect, rendering ‘Doomsday Elite’ a very accessible example of modern, slightly ambitious, moderately progressive Black Metal that should appeal to just about all of you.

Though not especially grim or harsh or aggressive (but very melodious), this is still an enjoyable slab. I can’t really imagine anyone having a major problem with Sarkom’s latest incursion.

Evilometer: 444/666

TAAKE – NOREGS VAAPEN (Dark Essence Records)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

First off, let’s not concern ourselves too much with the guest appearances. Is it really that important in terms of the actual music? Nope. Suffice to say some of the early forebears of Black Metal have seen fit to pay homage to Taake (AKA Hoest) by contributing to the Norwegian’s fifth full-length, ‘Noregs Vaapen’, and the fact that these seminal individuals are prepared to make such a gesture speaks volumes for the niche that second-wave sensation Taake has carved for itself during a rather extraordinary 16-year career to date.

Taake religiously releases an album every three years and each full-length from its glowing canon is absolutely mandatory, the latest being no exception. Opener ‘Fra vadested til vaandesmed’ sets the tone – an excellent chunk of raw yet melodic BM majesty and ‘Orkan’ is even more melodic, cleaner, more accessible, but still contains a harsh and heavy edge, ripping and roaring, flipping and soaring. A great start to the album and there’s no let-up on the oftentimes mid-tempo ‘Nordbundet’, which transforms into a bouncing headbanger before disappearing from earshot, leaving a lasting impression.

There’s nothing grand, spectacular or flash about Taake (apart from perhaps the crazy and commendable banjo solo in ‘Myr’); he just does the simplest things very, very well and delivers solid, by-the-numbers Black Metal that’s impossible to ignore and even harder to dislike. The artwork, imagery and presentation are all as impressive as the music (which is flawlessly produced), culminating in an overall package that will take a lot of topping. Ten-minute closer ‘Dei vil alltid klaga og kyta’ is especially captivating in an almost-The-Ruins-Of-Beverast-style-doomy-BM way.

Residing somewhere between the underground and the Black Metal mainstream (now there’s a concept!), Taake is a law unto itself and one of the most intriguing Norwegian exports of the past two decades. I heartily recommend ‘Noregs Vaapen’ – and every other album released by Hoest and his ever-changing horde of accomplices.

Evilometer: 555/666