text: Jean Relapse
Dark Essence Records
November 24th, 2017
Through Dark Essence Records comes the latest Taake release. Kong Vinter, released shortly after the Baktanker EP. If the EP was quite dispensable, never had Taake disappointed with an album, so when I’ve been offered this review, I was, to say the least, divided. Divided because Taake is a safe bet, so I would enjoy myself writing it, but also divided because no band is like Taake and Taake is like no band. This is not the kind of album you can write about in two or three listens. Hard work ahead, ladies and gentlemen.
The first half of the album is a mix between the Taake we’ve always known and a gloomier one. The convoluted riffs, mixed with drumming patterns that are anything but not patterns leave the listener where Taake always left them. On the other hand, from time to time, Taake added, as aforementioned, these gloomy, bizarre atmospheres that are new to their recipe. It’s even stranger that it is added as touches, no track could be specifically quoted to exemplify it. A bass here, an unexpected voice there, an intro… Despite this new approach, Taake will be Taake. This new orientation, so to speak, is so subtle yet so important to the album that it really comforted me in the idea that Taake will always be able to renew itself without ever going sour.
Let’s remember that we are here in presence of one of the TNBM strongest representative. Where Mayhem keeps living on De Mysteriis…, where Immortal makes everybody fearful with their future, where Gorgoroth is just the shadow of what it used to be… Taake is and will keep being innovative without turning its back to its career. Never had a discography been so strong and so impeccable. In Kong Vinter, each and every note will remind you the band, for it is thanks to the long progressive tracks, always epic enough, never too aggressive and never too sloppy or the voice, on point to deliver your dose of black metal-typed emotions. It never falls into a cliché or a commonplace.
I might sound a bit eulogistic here, but Taake, with Kong Vinter, is to TNBM what marathon is to running. Or what laundry is to chores. A long-distance race, necessary, reminding why you first came to black metal. Or to chores.