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I guess everybody, who collects records, have some special releases in his collection, some true jewels, which are nowadays as hard to find as the Amber Room and maybe not quite as expensive, but surely not cheap. My collection also has some such rare items; I’m not gonna mention them all now, as I’m not really a type of braggart, but since I write this review then I must mention at least one title – and it is Taake’s cherished and sought after box set from 2004. Released by Perverted Taste it contains three picture LPs: “Helnorsk Svartmetall”, “Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik” and “Nattestid Ser Porten Vid” – everything comes in the cardboard box and includes a t-shirt (which I am afraid I have started to wear year ago and now it has been washed several times, so it is far from looking new and unused! What have I done???). So, the content of this boxset must sound fantastic, doesn’t it? Yeah!! Of corpse nowadays all those early Taake releases are easily available, also on vinyl, as they’ve been repressed on LP a couple of years ago, but that hasn’t changed the fact that this boxset is a true treasure. Nowadays it comes for ridiculous prices of 200-300 euros and I remember that when I purchased it back in 2004 (from Ledo Takas!) it cost me around 20-30 euros hehe! Someone may say that I should have bought two copies and now sell the other one, but I hate when people do that, buying two or three copies and later asking for ridiculous money for it. This is a fuckin jewish behavior, which should not have place in the metal community, if you ask me! Fuck that and people who do that, anyway.
Boxset looks really impressive. The cardboard box is all black, with the silver logo of Taake in the front… fuck, it looks really grim. Also each of the three pictures LPs looks fantastic. Many people don’t like picture discs, as they sound slightly worse than the classic black wax, but I like them, as they look truly fantastic. The image of Høst on the disc always looks impressive… and each of the albums is really beautiful, with their dark artwork, etc. This is the one and only advantage of picture LPs over the standard black LP.
I don’t actually know if it’s necessary to describe the musical content of each of the albums, which this boxset contains. They are all probably well known to those, who read this. If not, let me just say that personally my favourite LP is “Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik”. This is absolutely amazing album, filled with amazing songs, great composing and truly cold and dark atmosphere. I also have a lot of good memories and love the first album; I cannot believe it’s already been so long I have listened to “Nattestid…” for the first time and have read the first interview with the band (in Thrash’em All Magazine). And from the other hand the content of “Helnorsk Svartmetall” is probably least interesting, but mainly due to the fact that this collection of early Taake and Thule demos has mostly very bad production, which takes sometimes the pleasure from listening to them (mainly the "Manndaudsvinter" demo)… But from the other hand I must admit I really like "Koldbrann i Jesu Marg" EP. Thule stuff also is very good, but I don’t like the vocals in it, as they’ve been terribly screamed. Honestly it is not so easy to go through the whole “Helnorsk Svartmetall”. If you’re not so much into the most obscure, badly recorded and amateurish black metal demos then this may almost sound like a torture to your ears. Luckily the content of the other two albums will be easier to listen to. But what the hell am I writing?! These demos are a part of the history of Taake and as such they definitely deserve their place on this boxset, so no more words. I must add though that it’s impossible not to notice how much the music of Taake has matured between the demo days and the first album. The difference is huge. Listen to all those textures, these quite complicates riffs and layers of each song from the first and the second full length LP… This is not primitive black metal anymore, but something way more original and ambitious.
Anyway, it is always a real pleasure to my ears and feast for the soul, a great experience to listen to Taake and this boxset. If there is any other boxset, which I would like to have as much as I do Taake then it probably is only Ulver’s equally pricy “The Trilogie - Three Journeyes through the Norwegian Netherworlde”. Since this Ulver’s box of three picture LPs is out of my range at the moment (sorry, too expensive!) then at least I am very, very happy that I had a chance to get Taake back in the day. And I’m sure I’ll never get rid of this! This stuff will stay with me until my last day! Get it also, if you’re lucky and play it loud!