Videoclip of the Month!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Taake - Noregs Vaapen

Taake - Noregs Vaapen


Noregs Vaapen is Taake’s 5th studio album and it was released in 2011 under Dark Essence Records. The name of the label is quite appropriate for Noregs Vaapen because there is definitely a dark essence at play in this album, probably even more than before, just look at the album cover. Taake is one of the only 21st century black metal bands out there who have been successful. There have been many times where Taake has been compared with other black metal greats from Norway such as Mayhem and Immortal and there is a reason for this. Taake brings us music that is inspired by bands that already exists except he presents them in a way that is unlike anything we’ve heard. For people who have heard most of Taake’s discography would know that he doesn’t like to release the same album twice. Each of his albums has unique charm to them, but it still has that Taake feeling behind the music. This “Taake feeling” is something that I don’t believe that anyone else, anywhere in the world has managed to successfully recreate. This is what makes him so special and successful and the reason why many other bands should start looking up to him, not the oldies such as Mayhem.

Noregs Vaapen has quite a distinguished sound compared to Taake’s previous releases. The first thing that is noticeable about this album is that it sounds a lot more blurred. I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is a production thing but I think it gives an almost entirely different outlook on the album. The music doesn’t sound as hard as before, the haziness tends to give the music a softer edge to it. I don’t really think that has had a great affect on the quality of the album itself, but it’s something that has set Noregs Vaapen aside from the other albums Taake has released. But the atmosphere has definitely gone up a little, it sounds a lot more paganish and this is definitely from the softer change. This album sounds a lot more paganish than folkish, which is a different from what he put out before but either way, this album has some massive scope to it. The sheer scope of the atmosphere which is brought out by Taake’s music is just amazing. It provokes so much feeling so much emotion that it’s a little hard to describe. You can just imaging the vast mountain ranges and forests of Norway just by listening to this album, it’s almost like an adventure. In fact, this isn’t like an adventure, it is an adventure.

Not only is this an adventure through the land of Norway, it’s also an adventure across the ages. There seems to be a strong sense of “older” metal or rock influences at play here and this is something we’ve heard from Taake before. Noregs Vaapen features some 70s or 80s hard rock style of guitar work at times. There are a few guitar riffs and solos here which definitely change the tone of the music here. It’s not just the way they are played that is retro, the haziness in the music give it a authentic traditional hard rock feel to it. It’s like watching an 80s moving where there is a biker bar brawl; high energy and heat, a rough looking band on stage playing a sick ass solo and a room full of cigarette smoke. That’s what listening to these parts feel like. And the presents of these parts aren’t subtle as well, they hit you like a ton of bricks and they kick in just when the music was starting to feel a little stale. That is the black metal genius Taake at work right there, only a black metal master mind could do such a thing. 

There is so much variety in this album, just when you thought the changes in tempo, emotion, atmosphere, feeling behind the music was enough to make this album feel non-repetitive, he throws in a banjo solo and a yelling choir. There is just something so fascinating about Taake’s styles and the way he writes and creates atmosphere. He puts music together that no-one else can, and he presents them with what it seems like much ease. People around the world could sit there for hours on end, just listening to his music and quite frankly, I think the interesting style of Taake is much more interesting and provides much more scope than many movies out there. This is all thanks to Taake’s sheer awesomeness.

There is something that I cannot leave out of a Taake review and that’s his blast beats. For some reason, even though they are so simple, they just sound so good. Its probably its simplicity that makes it so appealing to listen to in the first place. They aren’t too fast or too powerful, they suit the music just perfectly. Not only that, but even with the blast beats, he still manages to keep that dark, hazy feel in the music. Not only that, the versatility of the drumming techniques he uses are applied equally as well in the hard rock and black metal sections. This is just one of the many things that Taake is awesome at doing.

Overall, this might not be a technical master piece, or the best black metal album, or even the best thing Taake has released, but this is still a great album. Noregs Vaapen isn’t something that people can just look up a song on youtube and judge it from there. Noregs Vaapen is the type to album that requires patience because it will repay you in the mean time with an adventure you’ve never experienced before and I don’t know how he does it but even though you know that he is just a single man creating all this music, it sounds like he has an army of people behind him.  This album has it all; blast beats, kickass guitar solos, the great Taake vocals, awesome guitar riffs, emotion, atmosphere… the list can go on and on. I recommend Noregs Vaapen to anyone likes paganish or folky black metal and to whoever is willing to listen to the whole album in one go, because you cannot have the full affect of Noregs Vaapen just listening to a song here and there, it’s impossible. I don’t see Taake’s music dying off anytime in the near future and quite frankly, I don’t want him to die off. Noregs Vaapen is a wonderful album and it will fit in with any extreme metal collection. I give Taake’s Noregs Vaapen an 18/20.


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