Norwegian black metal act Taake once again blend the right amount of cold atmosphere into their hellish brew with their sixth recording, Stridens Hus. Basically the work of one Hoest (who sings and plays all the instruments on the studio albums), Stridens Hus is a well crafted, rampaging beast of a record, with Hoest violently spewing the lyrics in his native tongue over shards of rampaging, yet melodic, ragged guitar riffs, well timed drum blasting, and as I already mentioned, menacing atmosphere. "Orm" has many twists and turns, including a wonderful, snaking guitar solo, and plenty of textures on the riffs, while the manic "Det Fins En Prins" offers up haunting choirs that eerily float over the pulverizing arrangements. That freezing cold atmosphere rears its delightful head on the stark, ominous "Kongsgaard Bestaar", a song that does a great job fluctuating between icy tranquility and relentless fury, with some of the best guitar playing on the album tossed in for good measure. Of course, the opposite end of the spectrum is just as satisfying, and that choice is clearly "Vinger", a pulverizing slice of rampaging Norwegian black metal.
Recent word has it that Taake's upcoming US tour has been postponed due to Visa issues, so if you were hoping to catch this veteran band this year pay close attention to their website or Facebook page as they are trying to work out the issues and reschedule the dates if possible. In the meantime, make sure you check out and enjoy this latest gem if you aren't already doing so.
1. Gamle Norig
3. Det Fins En Prins
5. En Sang til Sand Om Ildebrann
6. Kongsgaard Bestaar