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Taake - Avvik Award winner

by Chris Hawkins at 06 July 2021, 9:21 AM

Understandably, in the world of Black Metal, a lot of attention is focused on the new DARKTHRONE album.  There is, however, another new record much deserving of your attention:  the new TAAKE album, “Avvik,” a tour de force of relentless vitriol, the veracity of which is unrivaled.  It is hard to believe that this is the eighth full-length released from TAAKE.

To be technically precise, “Avvik” is a compilation of material pulled from three different split releases.  As such, the collected songs are diverse if not eclectic at times for HOEST.  Nevertheless, from the first notes of opener, “Ubesiret,” a pulverizing intensity is uttered forth casting a looming, omnipresent shadow over the entirety of the album.

Heartland,” the second track, is a bit of a departure as it is a cover of a SISTERS OF MERCY tune and a most prodigious one at that.  What is particularly worth noting is how the song is laid out for it is effectively framed around a simple droning bass line and vocals for the first couple of minutes.  It is actually a shock when the back kicks in, a jolt to the senses indeed yet its immediacy is enthralling.  In fact, this is quite the impressive cover with its own vibe and personality uniquely constructing the alluring atmosphere.  A guest appearance from DR. MIKKANIBAL of SIGH showcases quite the stunning saxophone solo, a cunning addition keeping with the song’s out-of-the-box approach.

The following track, “Nattestid ser Porten vid I,” is yet another surprising addition here.  The acoustic performance from live guitarist GJERMUND is a gorgeously played yet haunting melody.  Surprisingly, toward the middle, a Bluegrass style interlude changes pace before reverting back to the first motif.  It is at the five-minute mark, though, where gears are shifted and a new section opens upon, one that could even be labeled more eerie than the first.  While it may seem strange to expend this much effort in describing an instrumental acoustic track from a Black Metal record, after listening to the seductive notes issued forth therein, the case is thus made.

Including seven tracks makes perfect sense as most eclipse five minutes.  Also, the force of the material’s impact is multiplied with such a concise track listing.  The production features a crushingly brutal guitar tone and when paired with the dirty bass, the sound becomes a wall of insidious pestilence in a way only the most elite Black Metal can.  Thus far, this is one of the most creative efforts heard this year as it shifts between hate-fueled mid-paced sections and more elaborate melodic arrangements, a true triumph in the genre!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Ubesiret
2. Heartland
3. Nattestid ser Porten vid I
4. Slagmark
5. Ravnajuv
6. Brottne Bein og Mannefall
7. Ein Batt I Foss
Hoest – Everything
Record Label: Dark Essence Records


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Edited 28 September 2021

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