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taake noregsvaapen
Artist: Taake
Title: Noregs Vaapen
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: 19th September 2011
Label: Dark Essence Records

Album Review

At first, TAAKE may seem like the typical portrait of a Black Metal band: a large focus on Norwegian heritage, corpse paint, some jail time spent, and a tendency to work best by himself because all the other members are either flakes or can’t stand working with him. However, one has to admire Hoest for his ability to keep going strong after ten years as lots of one man Black Metal bands tend to shrivel up just after year three, or produce the same kind of music over and over again (XASTHUR and LEVIATHAN have been one of the exceptions). TAAKE fortunately keeps its music as dynamic as ever by album no. 6 while still retaining that sense of Norwegian patriotism within every song. With full Norwegian lyrics and song titles, there may be a bit of a language barrier for most listeners, but that allows more of a focus on the music, which at first may not seem like anything revolutionary. Tracks like ‘Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed’ carry the usual shredding guitars and tremolo picking with the vocals screeching about with the speed carrying the atmosphere of a hailstorm that could be felt amongst the winter atmosphere of Hoest’s hometown. Often in the background a sorrowful synth can be heard which helps add to the emotional weight of the music, but on the downside it pretty much has all been heard before.

As the album progresses, a bit more variation can be added in as opposed to calling TAAKE just ‘Norwegian Black Metal’ and following the vein of early DARKTHRONE or MAYHEM. ‘Norbundet’ involves more rhythm and a Rock oriented song structure that can be considered similar to a band like KHOLD, also a highly acclaimed Norwegian Black Metal outfit. In turn, the music is slowed down a bit to pace that is easier to follow, but also the repetitive nature becomes much more noticeable. ‘Myr’ is one of the bigger highlights because it features a banjo in the background, adding in some folk elements that are a far cry from the usual keyboards if one is into EMPEROR or accordion if it is FINNTROLL. The rest of the music carries the same turbulent speed that ‘Fra…’ does, but the vocals seem to slow down in a spoken, venomous sermon which helps listeners deal with the ferocity. Then there is ‘Helvetesmakt’ which is both Black n’ Roll oriented and also includes backing choir vocals that one might hear from a band like FUNERAL MIST. It is these little moments of experimentation that make Hoest’s work more than just average Black Metal that can easily be passed off as nothing. Even the giant epic ‘Dei Vil Alltid Klaga og Kyta’ ends up being more than just a snooze of ten minutes. Unlike the other tracks, it switches between heavier passages and slow, churning moments with a bit more rhythm and grittier guitar, touching once again on that old-school approach that DARKTHRONE used.

Overall, TAAKE still shows it has the ability to create good music. ‘Noregs Vaapen’ lives up to past release standards for fans new and old. Black Metal fans in general will find this easy to enjoy as it strays from the typical mainstream approach that bands like DIMMU BORGIR or CRADLE OF FILTH have followed. The album may take some getting used to at first for one to really get involved with the music, but eventually listeners will hear the ingenuity behind TAAKE’S work. It is heavy while being atmospheric and thankfully not just a buzzing repetitive mess.


01. Fra vadested til Vaandesmed - 6:47
02. Orkan - 6:17
03. Nordbundet - 5:25
04. Du Ville Ville Vestland - 6:51
05. Myr - 5:35
06. Helvetesmakt - 5:37
07. Dei vil Alltid Klaga og Kyta - 10:16


Hoest- vocals, all instruments


Cover Picture

taake noregsvaapen


Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8 / 10

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