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Nattestid Ser Porten Vid

Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten Vid ©1999 AvantGarde Music
1. Nattestid Ser Porten Vid Parts I-VII

Nattestid Ser Porten Vid is a seven part, 40+ minute epic in the old style of Norwegian Black Metal, with some viking influences thrown in the mix. This album represents all of the best of Norwegian Black Metal, full of chilling atmosphere, blinding speed, brutality, beauty, and evil. Add in to all of this great production (a rarity in this scene) by the legendary Pytten, and you have a classic on your hands.

Taake is the project of U. Hoest, who does all of the guitars and vocals on the album, as well as being the sole songwriter. Tundra guests on the album, taking care of bass and drum duties. Hoest is a talented guitarist, and his vocals are superb in either end of his wide spectrum, whether it be shrieking black metal vocals or his clean singing. Not to worry, black metal fans; the clean vocals are kept to a minimum, used sparingly in the most effective places.

I'm not normally a fan of blastbeats, but they fit so well in Taake's music, I actually started to enjoy them. Blastbeats are used here when demanded by the music, not just played randomly over any type of rhythm. Add in the nearly subliminal thunder of the bass, and parts of this album totally annihilate the senses. But in a good way!

My favorite part of this epic is "Part Four," an instrumental that is painfully melodic but in no way cheesy. Making an album that combines so many different aspects of black metal so perfectly is not easy, but Taake have done it with only their first full length album. I expect Taake to be hailed alongside countrymen Mayhem and Emperor in a few years as kings of the Norwegian scene.

Review by Scott Wilcox

Review date: 06/1999

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Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik

Taake - Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik ©2002 Wounded Love
1. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik I
2. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik II
3. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik III
4. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik IV
5. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik V
6. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik VI
7. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik VII

Black metal has a couple separate divisions, at least in my mind. There's the acts that rely on over the top gimmickry and outlandish statements to get attention. If there was such thing as a black metal Dr. Phil, these bands would need to have a chat with him to discuss their feelings of inadequecy and perhaps discuss the lack of a nurturing environment in their youth. But then there's the serious black metal which limits the tomfoolery and puts their energies into this crazy thing called "music". Taake is a prime example of this, as this underappreciated project of "Hoest" has been issuing quality releases that are devoid of nonsense but chock full of black metal awesomeness. Granted, Hoest enjoys hamming it up in the corpsepaint in his promo photos and onstage, but beyond that Taake's image is minimal while the excellent music take its place front and center.

Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik is the second full length release from Taake. Taake's debut album was rather impressive, but Bjoergvin seems to improve upon it. One of the nicest aspects of this release is that Taake ignores the directives of lesser acts and allowed for a good quality studio production. We're not talking AC/DC finesse, but the guitars, bass and drums all have good clarity and avoid the slothlike laziness of many black metal acts. The other nice thing about this release is that it sounds like Hoest took the time to really work out the songwriting and arrangements. The album feels like there's a sense of care and pride in the creation. The album is split into seven parts, presumably discussing a single topic at length. The songs flow quite well and you can find some rather outstanding parts in sections IV and VI.

For metal fans who wish to seek out the more serious, quality black metal that avoids the campiness of the Dimmu Borgir world, Taake is certainly worth checking out.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2010

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