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Hordaland Doedskvad - get it - 94%

Bren_den, October 21st, 2006

"Hordaland Doedskvad" starts with a scream that pleasantly announces the total ass-kicking you are about to receive while listening to it.

One can expect the usual complexity of the guitars that Taake is known for, but this time around they're even more impressive; Hoest has further infused folkish sounds into his riffs while keeping true to the black metal style of previous work.

Another aspect of the music that has improved is the overall song-writing and "surprise" factor. Riffs change sporadically at unpredictable times, or stop abruptly to branch of into a new thought. This causes the album to sound somewhat chaotic and unorganized at first, but after a few listens the organic and natural flow becomes apparent. "Hordaland Doedskvad" takes the listener on an energetic ride and captures their attention throughout until the album finishes (which is when you'll be pressing "play" again).

The production of this album also deserves a mention; It is a few steps up in quality compared to "Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik", which makes it stand up and demand attention rather than sit out in the background as noise. Over-polishing is not an issue here, as the warm grit of distortion is at a perfect balance with the vocals while the drums drive the music forward from slightly behind. The bass is not always as audible as it could be, but it provides sufficient support for the guitars which are the main focus anyway.

Overall, this album delivers everything -and more- that one would expect from black metal-hero Taake. "Hordaland Doedskvad" is truely a masterpiece, and is (arguably, of course...) the best Taake release to date.