Monday, December 10, 2018 14:00

Posts Tagged ‘Taake’

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

TAAKE – NATTESTID… LP (Peaceville Records)

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten VidNot sure why the album title has been abbreviated from the original ‘Nattestid Ser Porten Vid’ nor am I sure why I am bothering to review another record released by this label. Let’s face it: Peaceville has become a complete parody of itself, a laughing stock. None of their new releases are worth bothering with and they just continue to live off former glories, re-releasing and re-hashing decent albums from their back catalogue (and others’) over and over and over again. Not quite as bad as Earache (what a joke they have become!) but flogging a dead horse is still flogging a dead horse.

Anyway, even though I acquired the CD editions on Wounded Love, I missed Taake’s first two full-lengths on vinyl first time around. Alas, for once, Peaceville’s reissues have worked in my favour as I made the most of the opportunity to acquire these two fantastic and historic LPs (‘Nattestid Ser Porten Vid’ and ‘Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik’ (now known as ‘…Bjoergvin…’ for whatever reason)) on glorious black wax.

If you don’t know how important and brilliant these albums are, just take my word for it – mandatory stuff! (No real point in writing a detailed review 15 years after the original release…) In fairness, both LPs are gloriously presented on 180g vinyl, with lovely artwork and a printed inner sleeve including lyrics and some brief notes. On this occasion, my hat goes off to Peaceville. Even if they are jumping on the bandwagon and if Taake is the real star of the show.

Not sure if this version appeared last year or in 2012 but it is still widely available.

Evilometer: 555/666

COMMENT: Are records and CDs becoming prohibitively expensive?

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Can anybody really afford to buy records and CDs any more? I’m not sure I can. It has become an extremely expensive hobby and the soaring cost of vinyl in particular – not helped by rising postage charges – is a real threat to the very existence of the subgenre. Of course, postage costs are beyond the control of labels but this is small comfort to cash-strapped music lovers who are trying to cope with the financial limitations imposed on them by the global recession. And, it must be said, labels are guilty of nurturing high prices through a culture of (snobbery?) exclusivity, limited editions, die-hard editions etc.

I’ll give you an example of what’s going on: I’m interested in purchasing the new Aptorian Demon record, the latest Lunar Aurora record and the brand new Taake 2LP. The cheapest quote I’ve been able to get so far for all three is €87 – that’s working out at €29 per record. Almost €25 for postage and Paypal fees. Can we honestly be expected to pay this? I know I can’t afford to. I’ll have to go without (and, thus, there will probably be no reviews of these interesting releases on this site).

I’m sure a lot of you have had similar experiences. Underground music should not cost so much. What’s with the elite costs? I mean, I’m not purchasing a pair of Converse here. Surely it shouldn’t cost any more than €50 tops for three records, including delivery. Labels have a part to play in making it possible to support the music.

I don’t know what the solution is but, clearly, there is a danger that true fans are going to be marginalised by the alarming price of admission. With bills to be paid and lives to be lived, little wonder so many are forced to turn to illegal downloads.

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