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TAAKE - Kong Vinter CD

Taake has remained true its ancestral roots since the formation of the band in the ‘90s. Desolate, frozen landscapes are painted with ease through tortured shrieks and guitars that are sinisterly dark in tone; a sound that’s as potent as ever on Kong Vinter. Hoest has a special knack for keeping his footing grounded through a massive range of guitar-driven dynamics. The opening track, “Sverdets Vei” is top-notch Taake: a condensed offering that crams these opposing sounds into an aggressive, but vibrantly bright number. It’s the way Hoest combines these time-trusted black metal blueprints with his flashy guitar-work that makes Taake so uniquely accessible. For an album named after the dead cold of winter, Kong Vinter is oddly varied. Instead of a crushing snow storm, it plays out more like a sporadically fierce flurry – giving the listener a chance to take in a landscape veiled in fog beneath their feet. To honor the second wave black metal aesthetic, while also continuing to push the envelope is an admirable and rare feat.