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Taake is a band that I consider to be in the second wave of Norwegian black metal, they really got their stuff going in the late 90's even though they formed somewhere around the mid 90's. Norway has had trouble producing some original and excellent bands since the late 80's-early 90's heyday of Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Emperor, Satyricon, Immortal and Gorgoroth. Granted, those bands will always be in black metal history and it's a tough act to follow for any country (albeit France is the current ruler of the roost) let alone Norway. Some of the prior bands I mentioned are still active and some are sometimes "active" or preparing comebacks of some sort (i.e. Emperor, Immortal).
I always asked myself if Norway could ever produce that string of talent ever again or anything remotely close to it. Tsjuder is a second wave Norwegian band and they're a really good band that will be around. But Taake is something on a completely different league, this album drew me just from the album cover alone, so enigmatic, creepy and yet so indicative of what is inside. All the songs are untitled and only made in "parts 1, 2, 3, etc.". Musically I would compare this album to 'Dark Medieval Times' era Satyricon, maybe even 'Blodhemn' era Enslaved as well. But don't think for one bloody second that these guys are ripping them off, because they pull this off as something absolutely their own.
The musicianship is wonderful, the vocals are just sublime and most importantly the atmosphere created is something that raises goosebumps. The music has so much despair, anger and desperation that only a couple of bands can match that feeling, Burzum or Dissection comes to mind. This music has so much desire and hard work put into it that it wants to express itself to you without saying it directly. There are several Pagan/Viking chants and melodies thrown in to the predominantly black metal style in this album just to give you a wider range of sound and to keep you mesmerized.
This music is something so expressive, nastalgic and honest that only a few bands can really capture that feeling and unleash it on tape. Dimmu Borgir will never know what its like to make music this good. I found out of this band just when they released "...Dødskvad" in 2005 and I couldn't believe how good they were, how did I not know of them before? So the story was for them to release a trilogy and take an indefinite hiatus, but now it seems that they're active again to my delight. It's interesting that this band doesn't get more recognition because their music really stands up to anything that the prior bands in the beginning of this review have ever done. It's certainly on par with Scandinavia's finest work. A hail salute.