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In no such way do I mind black metal..unless it runs out of things to offer, and the first time I listened to this EP, I could barely tell the difference between each song. And for the most part, it's still the same way to this day. This isn't to say it's a bad thing, per say, just not a good thing either. I listened to this EP two times in a row to get a good feel of it before I started this review, as I hadn't listened to it a whole lot when I first got it. Appropriately so, I didn't even know the first track had come around again until I actually looked. I let out a small sigh.
As far as black metal goes, this is definitely it. My problem with it is that each track begins after a few moments of the band on stage and the crowd awaiting the next track, and then afterward the song begins, and so does my problem with the EP. Every song on this release has the same beat and same style, at least when they first start out. To be honest it can be difficult at times to tell the songs apart let alone know which track I'm listening to. And even though the riffs in each song might be a little different from one another and the song goes into different passages, as well it should, I just think the songs may have been a little too similar for this selection. But musically, the songs are pretty good. If you were to listen to one or two of these together, it might not make a difference. I enjoy the vocals and the guitars a lot, don't get me wrong, but there really just didn't seem like a lot of variety. If they had chosen maybe some other songs to play during this set that had a different sound to them, I wouldn't feel so dragged down by the fact that I don't even know which song I'm listening to at that point. Even with the added Darkthrone cover ("Over Fjell og Gjennom Torner") I still almost felt alittle bored at times.
The songs do get bland a little at times, but like I said, they're not bad and I do like this release. But hey, it is just an EP, and I can't expect the entire package from just 4 tracks. It may seem like i dislike Svartekunst, but it's just hard for someone like me to listen to something like this multiple times in a day if I'm not feeling up to it, and this release unfortunately does not do that for me. If you don't mind simplicity then this is definitely worth a listen. It is black metal after all, and if you like most black metal, you probably will like this. It is recorded live, and as far as quality goes, most black metal has a raw ethic, so a live recording versus a raw recording doesn't prove much of a difference. These guys have a good solid sound and that is probably my favorite thing about this group. They are the kind of black metal band that you can listen to and get involved in the music. As I stated before, this is countered by the simplicity of the songs, but these do a heck of a job regardless.
I recall that the old Taake/Thule demos sounded like they were rubbed with sand paper in the mixing/mastering phase. This live EP remedies that problem a bit by featuring a couple of those pre-album tracks with a more balanced sound job (side A: Eismalsott, Tykjes Fele). Included on side B are a Darkthrone cover from “Transilvanian Hunger” and Voldtekt, a track whose studio version was previously released on two recent EPs already (?).
Having those old tracks essentially remade is a marvellous idea, but the flipside of the 7” could have been used for things far more interesting than a rather dull cover and a third incarnation of a familiar track. The party riff in Voldtekt isn’t that good, but I guess the band disagrees. Though I hate to call this release a cash-grab, it does smell like one.
Nevertheless, the sound is very well-crafted for a black metal live setting; I especially love the heavily reverberated guitar sound. The band’s playing is professionally tight, and Høst pulls off some of his best vocals on top of this wall of noise where even the bass gets its fair share of presence. Bearing these technical things in mind, this 7” could have been far worse – for what it is, the EP is more or less a pleasant listening experience. I just sincerely hope that the band would stop dicking around with overpriced “collectors’ items” and release a proper full-length live album.