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90s gems: part 563 - 80%

we hope you die, April 25th, 2019

Kvist’s sole LP ‘For Kunsten Maa vi Evig Vike’ (1996) is one such release. Kvist, I’m told, means ‘twig’ in Norwegian. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide what this says about the gravitas of the Norwegian language compared to English.

Although this proved to be their only LP, it is a much loved one nevertheless, and with good reason. This definitely sits on the black metal side of the border, and despite being relatively lo-fi and…shall we say grim, it offers a similar lively energy that many in the Swedish school were distinguished for. Tritones are offset by atonal punk riffs and a heavy dose of layered keyboards to beef up the somewhat weak guitar tone. Drums are enthusiastic but somewhat shaky in places given the rhythmic diversity this music pretends to. Vocals are run-of-the-mill black metal growling, devoid of reverb which is to be honest a refreshing nod to authenticity.

This music has no end of intriguing riffs, granting the listener little time to become accustomed to one before moving on to another. In terms of the all-important atmosphere, I would say this album offers us a glimpse into the Satyricon that could have been following ‘Dark Medieval Times’. It is a more developed, cohesive iteration of the style of this rhythmically diverse yet atmospheric take on black metal, with many novel ideas packed within. Where this album falls down somewhat is that weak guitar tone. No problem for many stripes of black metal for sure, but in the contrast between the epic and the evil (chortle), a meatier, more overbearing sound is required for full impact.

This determinant however is a small one. What the album lacks in the area of aesthetic choices, it more than makes up for in riffcraft, and knowing when to use keyboards to layer up the sound, and when to cut them back so as not to become tiresome. In many ways this is an impressive marriage of punk and metal philosophies. With the more epic black/death metal riffs soaring above the scene, and raw, primal black metal riffs of the 1980s complementing them rather than contrasting them. Yet another mid-90s treasure well worth a spin.

Originally published at Hate Meditations

For Kunsten Må Vi Evig Vike - 94%

Lars_Stian, April 10th, 2017

‘’For Kunsten Må Vi Evig Vike’’, Kvist’s debut and sole album, is a great, yet sadly often overlooked, black metal release. It’s always a shame to see wasted talent, and it’s thusly sad to see that Kvist, despite their huge potential, split up soon after this release.

The very first thing I noticed was the production. Most black metal albums barely have any bass in them, however Kvist is the complete opposite. There’s so much bass, especially in the drums, as the kick sounds immensely fat. The bass guitar is easily audible, and the sheer amount of bass makes this album stand out among the numerous black metal albums out there, and makes the album more interesting. Another aspect of Kvist that differs from the black metal norm, is the fact that they use relatively little repetition. There’s an abundance of riffs, and the song writing is quite impressive. At no point can one get bored during a listen, as the riffs always change, and though change is frequent, it never feels forced or out of place.

The riffs themselves are amazing, and the use of synth is brilliant. There are many times where the synth takes the lead, and behind the deceiving heaviness, there’s usually a great melody, often expressed through the synth. What’s great about the instruments, is that due to the production, all the instruments sort of blend together into a single entity. Furthermore, the guitar riffs themselves are somewhat typical black metal riffs, albeit great at that, as there’s one relentless riff after another. The album is somewhat atmospheric, and though I would by no means classify it as atmospheric black metal, it’s certainly there, despite its lesser role. It has, as many other BM releases, somewhat of a sad and nostalgic undertone to it, and it also has somewhat of a doom-like sound to it.

I must say that the vocals are quite interesting, and overall well done. They’re not your typical screaming shrieks, they’re more talking or whispery, and far more sinister. By more talking or whispery vocals, I don’t mean they sound like modern Burzum vocals, as in effortless and dull, I mean as in haunting and evil. Anyway, it’s always great to see black metal vocalists actually try to do something different with their vocals, rather than just shrieking like every other vocalist. The lyrics aren’t too hard to figure out, despite not having actually read any lyrics, due to the nature of the vocals. I must say, as far as I can tell, they’re more poetic and interesting than most lyrics I’ve read. They’re all in Norwegian, as far as I can tell, and they all have a rather mystic and thus intriguing themes. They don’t sound like any of that ‘’vague and cryptic for the sake of sounding deep’’ sort of vagueness, rather they’ve actually made it vague enough to be interesting, though not so much that it sounds meaningless and pointless.

One instrument in particular that stood out to me was the drums, mostly because of the amount of bass in it, however that was only what caught my attention; what kept it was how good they were. The speed itself is very impressive, and the drummer is quite versatile. Blast beats are used, though not overused, and the kicks are so fast at times, which, with the amount of bass in them, sounds incredible.

‘’For Kunsten Må Vi Evig Vike’’ is a must have for all and any black metal fan, I’d even be as bold as to say it’s a necessity to any metal fan in general. Though it took a few listens to really understand the album, it was certainly worth it.

A gem of the Norwegian scene - 91%

MEMES, May 22nd, 2016

Every now and then, there comes a band that releases really good music and then splits up or vanishes off the face of the earth. Examples include Damaar, Jenovavirus and Skaven. Kvist is no different, they came out with 2 demos before releasing this album. They split up a year later and the members when on to fade into irrelevance. This album stands as their magnum opus, an absolutely stunning piece of black metal that most likely got overlooked at the time of release, seeing as how Burzum, Darkthrone and Dimmu Borgir released albums in the exact same month.

The music on display here is a cocktail of melodic black metal with keyboards thrown in. The riffs and the keyboards complement each other very well, coming together to give the music a life of it's own. The keyboards actually become extremely prominent in "Forbannet vaere jorden jeg går på" at around the 3:26 mark with this fantastic synth line being played. But for the most part, the keyboards don't intrude all that much into the music at all.

Speaking of riffs, they're some of the best I've heard within black metal. There are standout riffs all over this album, like the beginning of "Vettenetter", the entirety of "Min lekam er meg blott en byrde" and especially the 0:52 mark of "Forbannet vaere jorden jeg går på" where the riffs and keyboards come together to create something mesmerizing and beautiful. The guitar tone does hinder the music somewhat by being a bit too thin but the riffs still come through perfectly fine.

It should be pretty obvious that my favourite track of here is "Forbannet vaere jorden jeg går på" seeing as I've already fawned over it twice already. This song was present on their demos from 1994, albeit in a rawer version. The improved production on this album certainly helped to make the song better than it already is.

The drumming should be mentioned, seeing as how the performance is pretty consistent. Drummer Endre Bjotveit plays a flurry of really fast and consistent blast beats that serve as the perfect springboard for the riffs to leap off from. The general sound of the kit is pretty good, and it gets the job done in an extremely efficient manner.

It's still a shame that they didn't record a second album though.

Very Competent Stand-Alone Album - 88%

ImpureSoul, December 16th, 2012

Kvist formed and released an album on the coat-tails of the second wave of Norwegian black metal, in 1996. This was to later be considered by black metal purists the final year for “true Norwegian black metal”. Though I would not put Kvist on a high pedestal as a crowning achievement of an era, I feel that they are a very-much overlooked band that has a lot of strength and promise contained within their first and only full-length release, titled For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike.

With great melodies and compact songs that flow well and present a pretty strong atmosphere, there’s a lot to like here. They follow the same melodic/synthesized approach as early Dimmu Borgir and Emperor did, but they use keyboards as subtle lifts in the background of their music, making the rare keyboard leads all the more appreciated when they do come in. Most of the time, the keyboards exist to play long, drawn-out notes in the background while everything else rages on like a flurry of ice and slow. Their biggest lead moments would definitely be through most of Stupet and Svartedal, and they work quite well on both of those songs.

Surprisingly, the production of the album is heavy on bass, throwing the old black metal tradition out in favour of a dense crunch. The guitars still maintain a low-fi sharpness to them that will make old Burzum and Darkthrone fans cream themselves, so nothing is lost with the inclusion of loud bass. The drums are thin but very well-played, and given the production value of everything else are pretty well-recorded. I feel they can get a little on the loud side at times, and usually usurp the guitars in terms of volume, but everything is audible at all times, so the volume of the drums are only a small detriment to the music. The vocals, done in a growled spoken-word sort of style and oddly crisp and clean compared to everything else, aren’t hugely interesting, but they still sound pretty good. A few long, drawn out screams would have been interesting though. Sometimes the production can come off as a little flat, and sometimes the guitars feel a little washed out, but I find that this feeling isn’t as bad after multiple listens. For the most part, everything works really well together. Most of the time, each instrument plays along but does not copy. Even the bass can be heard breaking off into its own patterns while the guitars play above it with riffs that sound great.

The big draw to this album for me is Kvist’s ability to structure and progress a song. Sometimes they tap on a basic verse/bridge/chorus structure, but it’s not long before they begin blasting forward with hosts of new hook riffs and leads. Songs are well-built into climactic sections (I find they do this particularly well on Stupet), and key moments stand way out in front and are never in danger of being over-repeated. Layers come and go as an underlying drum beat goes on, and the tempo and feel of a song will shift like an ever-outstretching landscape. Forbannet Vaere Jorden Jeg Går På is a great progressing song, and after the bass interlude it seems to really shine. The song also makes great use of repetition of a key section that features an organ—used twice in the beginning, and is not heard again until the song closes, but hearing it after such a long period of shifting music really changes it just by context alone. There’re plenty of memorable moments in each song, great and strange riffs that are emphasized by a sudden silence from the bass.

And with all this, there’re still plenty of breakneck blast-beat moments where everything seems a blur of power and speed, played by musicians that clearly know what they’re doing. There’s enough here to impress most black metal fans that don’t mind a band that isn’t too far out of the box. The length of the album is very good—with only six songs totaling less than forty minutes, it’s relatively short for a black metal album, but you I can definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of it as there is no song that seems particularly weak compared to the others.

So while For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike is not dripping with originality, great songwriting and melodies more than make up for it. It follows archetypal Norwegian melodic black metal of the time, sure, but it does it very well and is probably worth your time if you’re into any of the Norwegian black metal bands of early-to-mid 90s. It’s a great album for someone interested in raw black metal with a good helping of melody and song progression.

Originally posted on

Beautifully done and horribly underrated - 97%

The_Ghoul, July 13th, 2012

If I had my way, Kvist would always be the first band mentioned when talking about melodic black metal. Everything about this lonesome album is wonderfully done, and there are many layers of subtlety that most bands can't touch. Every instrument has its own niche, and no instrument (not even the bass) simply follows another instrument. I personally can't understand why more people don't love this. This is one of those black metal albums where I have to struggle to find anything wrong with it. The songs are cyclical but never verse-chorus-verse, and the whole album is very progressive in nature. Riffs are repeated, but not very often, and when they are, the riffs that are repeated are so good they bear repeating.

I must say that the guitars and keyboards are amazing here. They work beautifully together, and neither really overpowers another -- in fact, in key moments, the keyboards, guitars, and bass all do different things. When they work together, it's amazing. The chords on this album -- oh god, I can't describe how awesome these chords are. In parts, they go beyond simple barre "power" chords, and into chords most 2nd year music theory students cannot touch. They are all used very well; "subtle" and "classy" is how I'd describe this. The organ in Min Lekam Er Meg Blotte En Byrde, for instance, makes the song so epic, and the chords to go along with them are amazingly well done. I honestly can't say enough about the chords. Kvist aren't afraid to use major chords, either. One thing a lot of bands forget is that a few well placed major chords make your minor chords sound that much more haunting and minor. Buildup and intensity are key, and Kvist have both. Simply put, this is a compositional masterpiece.

Also, no band member steals the spotlight here. All instruments are presented with balance, and that balance carries this album. The bass has its moments of importance, the guitars shine but don't show off and aren't dominating the mix. The vocals do their job, and the vocalist sounds a bit like Shagrath did on the original Stormblaast (not the new one, I'm talking about ye olde one), and his voice doesn't offend the ears in any way. The vocals are irrelevant, mostly, due to the excellence of the composition, but, hey, sometimes you gotta give points for simply not fucking up this gem of an album. The drums are similar -- they do their job, say on beat, blastbeat when it's necessary, slow down when it's necessary, and add to the music without dominating it or fucking it up.

I'd recommend this to any black metal fan. It's a shame this was never more well known, and it's a shame Kvist didn't make any more albums. Still, listen to this. It's essential.

For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike - 60%

Noctir, October 30th, 2011

Released in January 1996, For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike is the sole full-length album from the Norwegian Black Metal band Kvist. This is a fairly typical record, for the time period, though that is not to say that it is without its share of memorable moments. It never reaches the same heights as bands like Burzum or Darkthrone, but resides more comfortably alongside groups like Emperor and Satyricon. Though the music does not rely on it heavily, the synth has a strong presence on this album and this can be tiresome at times.

The production of this record does not play to its strengths enough, as the guitar melodies are often buried in the mix and not as dominant as they should be. Oftentimes, the drumming becomes distracting, especially the unnecessary double-bass. Similarly, the keyboard passages are too loud and this has a detrimental effect on the overall product. The vocals are right about where they should be, neither too high nor too low. Though the guitars are not high enough, it is not to the extent where they are rendered useless, so the sound of the album is still enjoyable, just not what it could have been.

The music is not very distinctive. It never strays too far from what most other second and third-tier Norwegian bands were doing, at the time. Some parts are reminiscent of Gorgoroth while others call to mind Satyricon. The vocals do not do much to lessen this impression, as Tomas's voice is not too dissimilar from Satyr's, particularly on Nemesis Divina. The synth is overbearing, at times, but the guitar melodies are actually strong enough to carry the material on their own. There is a lot of variation regarding the tempo and structure. This is not one-dimensional, in any way. There are no songs that just maintain a steady pace all the way through. Each one has several twists and turns, which actually works against the band, on occasion. Of course, the album is constructed on a foundation of tremolo riffs, some more memorable than others. The highlight of For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike is the final track, "Vettenetter", a song that possesses several interesting guitar melodies that haunt your mind long after the record ends. As well, the synth is kept to a minimum, which allows the band to show what they are capable of, with only the traditional instruments.

This album is certainly worth checking out, despite its flaws. It is unfortunate that Kvist did not stick around long enough to record a follow-up to this, as they may have been able to work on their shortcomings and realize the potential that is shown here. Either that or they may have simply turned into yet another pathetic symphonic Black Metal band with ultra-slick production and modern songwriting. There is no way to tell, but it may be that the band is better off having disappeared into the foggy night.

Written for

Spectral fingers strum the beautiful malice - 95%

autothrall, September 14th, 2010

That this cult Norse act are named 'twig' could not be more ironic, because they were one of the more forceful of the mid 90s wave black metal bands: a storm that could snap off not only the twigs and limbs but the trunks of the mightiest trees. Thick and impressive drum batteries and surges of well written guitar riffs are their chief characteristic, but Kvist deserve praise for much more than this, as they were one of the very few bands of this scene outside of Emperor who could pull this off with healthy helpings of keyboards. The ever cautious balance of haunting organ orchestration and grim savagery creates one of the most superb atmospheres among all of the Norwegian black metal scene, and though For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike stands eternal as one of the best releases from that era, it's striking enough that I will forever pine for what might have been had their path been longer.

There are but six compositions clocking in below 38 minutes of playtime, most of which are culled from the band's 1994 demos, but even this is enough to create a brilliant twilight space between menace and grace that will conjure only rapt attention from the listener. The album has a unique level of accessibility that might even sate the tastes of the mid-90s Dimmu Borgir bandwagon while never alienating its more shadowy, underground admirers. For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike has a clear enough mix to flaunt the various instruments, without abandoning the necrotic grime that so many cult classics are lauded for. The bass is tremendous, instrumental in the album's success, whereas so many peers used it as an afterthought to the cascades of guitar and synthesizer. Endre Bjotveit's drumming is superb, with all the blasting and double elements that drew the masses into the embrace of extreme metal, and the guitars and synthesizers twist and bleed together like the desperate symphony of the asylum bound, conjuring landscapes of tombstone fields, dark forests of dripping dew, mist and cobwebs, and spectral castles.

"Ars Manifesti" teases with a brief, ascending thrash pattern and loud, plugging bass before a sheen of sanguine chords heralds the black metal genre's arrival, and Kvist storms through a number of unforgettable chord sequences surrounding a core of driven, raw impulse that would sate the Mayhem or Darkthrone fan. Once it strikes about 2:00, the keyboards revel in such symphonic grace that you can feel a ghost version of yourself begin to step out of your corpse and teeter on the brink of an incorporeal world. "Forbannet Være Jorden Jeg Går På" volleys forth with as much force as a battering ram at the gates to some Christian barricade, but the blasting soon cedes to a broth of glorious melodies and marching pace, culminating in the majestic, bass fronted rise at 2:30. "Stupet" marries a clever ascending and descending guitar pattern intro riff before its own path into the sadness and longing of no sustenance, crashing back into its opening chord sequence and then a pale majesty that will bring you to your knees to kiss the weeping dew of a cold autumn morning.

This is followed by the shortest piece of the album, "Svartedal" which falls beneath a 4 minute length, a surging mid-paced rager perfect for the storming champions of Northern Europe past as their long ships ford the rivers and streams of history. Conversely, "Min Lekam Er Meg Blott En Byrde" is almost 10 minutes, built to withered fruition through a cautious grandeur of chord calamities and streaming warfare that at 4:00 transforms into one of the most ghostly environs of the entire experience. Clean strings pluck beneath the eaves of darkness conjured by the keyboards, until the frenzy is rejoined for the final third of the song, and rekindled in the finale "Vettenetter". This last piece is predominantly faster and predictable, and probably my least favorite of the album, but it too breaks for some rousing sadness, a majestic culmination of the constituent strengths that led you to its black curtains.

Kvist were truly a gem among the Norse wave of the 90s, though sadly under-appreciated by the masses that were chewing up Emperor, Mayhem and Dimmu Borgir, rarely with enough space in their attention span or currency in their wallets for the occasional Darkthrone or Immortal record. For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike falls shy of perfection only by the one or two moments that flirt with redundancy, but it's so well crafted that these are easily forgiven. Well past a decade into its lifespan, the album has the elusive quality of timeless listening, as if archaeologists could dig it out of the earth centuries hence and wonder at this foreboding, obscure musical epoch where men wore spikes, leather and paint to dilute their individual personas into the sweeping cataclysm of their performance. But better not to wait for such a scene, so far away, when you can own and lavish your own praises upon it today.


A Dynamic And Melodic Force. - 80%

Perplexed_Sjel, February 21st, 2010

Ever since day one, I have avoided melodic black metal like the plague. I do recall having a few bad experiences when I first started listening to black metal with well respected bands like Obtained Enslavement, who also happen to operate within the melodic sub-genre. At that time, I didn’t appreciate the more melodic touches a band would implement within their music and, instead, I preferred a chaotic, more furious approach to black metal, a la ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ by Darkthrone. There was something about the image of black metal which made me believe, like a lot of naïve persons do, that the genre should be uncompromising and neglect warm melodies in favour of primitive sounding structures, which ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ has in abundance. Perhaps it has something to do with my first experience buying a black metal record. Being exposed to the appearance of one of its artists and the negativity that surrounds the whole façade of that image made me see black metal as being a hateful, misanthropic creation whose only design was to school the immature and naïve in the true ways of life. Time has a strange way of impacting upon an individuals personality.

No longer am I searching for primitive, raw bands alone, but I also engage in a spot of melodies that warm the cold cockles of my heart during the bleak winter months. Although my discovery of Kvist is not recent, I have only begun to immerse myself fully in ‘For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike’. Perhaps this is due to, once again, bad experiences I’ve had in the past with the influences of this band, such as Satyricon, a band whom I have very little time for nowadays. It is evident to us all that records like ‘Dark Medieval Times’ have impacted upon the artists here and thus, whatever has flowed before me during my time with this 1996 debut it because of what preceded it with the likes of Satyricon and also Emperor’s keyboard driven side. They say time heals all wounds so, having listened to and enjoyed this record immensely, I may have to revisit the likes of Satyricon, a band whose influence has slowly died, and relive the melodic tidings of ‘Dark Medieval Times’, a record seemingly steeped in vivid imagery and whose influence will continue even though the artist who created it is no longer looked as favourably upon. All influences are well concealed and Kvist do a stand-up job at showcasing their own individual habits, whilst also making sure to leave a footnote to bands like Emperor and Satyricon.

Having departed the black metal scene early, Kvist’s legend lives on and in good form. The three piece band established a fine reputation many years ago, but it still exists to this day and is probably strengthen with time due to the fact that this debut full-length continues to exceed the expectations of those who don’t feel as if they’ll rate it as highly as their peers have done. Fortunately, though I always enter these situations with trepidation, my fears have been squashed by the intoxicating juxtaposition I have found present here. Both cold and warm atmosphere tendencies live together, as if summer and winter have somehow combined their forces to produce the most startling imagery all on the one record. Although the guitars primarily provide that familiar feel of bleak, cold atmospheric structures (for example, ‘Svartadel’), they also tend to the warmer side of the record with fine melodies (and even a string sounding section on the same song, ‘Svartadel’ which is created by the dynamic force of the keyboards), one’s which live on in the memory although the band itself is long since defunct. I find the fantastically audible and creatively strong areas like the bass and Emperor inspired keyboards cater to the warmer feel of the record and with it comes that feeling of juxtaposed ideas that I was talking about.

The keyboards are far more sparse than expected, though they appear on songs like ‘Min Lekam Er Meg Blott En Byrde’ to provide imagery of medieval times, ancient battles and ancestry. There is a majestic feel to the keyboards and they’re smartly worked into the songs without causing too much of a fuss, melding into the background like they’re apart of the furniture. The keyboards do add a symphonic lining to the soundscapes, but this isn’t overblown, or exaggerate needlessly for affect. The keyboards are subtle and that’s the way in which they work best. As with the bass, the keyboards aim to strengthen the soundscapes, not to dominate them, though the bass does have a larger part to play in the creative side of Kvist, provided superbly by Tom Hagen, who also provides the rasping vocals -- an area of the record which is also subdued and not overblown like so many bands of this nature seem to do. ‘Ars Manifestia’, one of the strongest songs on the record, exemplifies how the bass can become a creative force, but also how it traditionally backs the guitars, too. Kvist do the simple things brilliantly and the more expansive things solidly. The opening to ‘Ars Manifestia’ is, in particular, important in highlighting the force of the bass within the record. Thankfully, Kvist’s only full-length to date isn’t an overblown, over-hyped mess. It’s skilfully crafted, incorporating key bass lines and subtle keyboards into an already dynamic mixture. Subtle, beautiful and bleak all simultaneously.

An Album To Remember - 90%

TomTheCannibal, August 12th, 2007

Ars Manifestia starts this album strong with a flowing stomping rhythm. The song's intro has a anticipating buildup to lyrics. Very quick and upbeat. Most likely to be the favorite song of the album. This song feels like it could overshadow the whole album as a "one hit wonder", but only if the rest of the album is not given any regard.

Forbannet Vaere Jorden Jeg Gar Pa continues the upbeat tone with more unusual background keyboarding.

Min Lekam Er Meg Blott En Byrde is perhaps a more doom-ish tone. The lower scale organs packaged with the spoken word lyrics bring a classic bone-chilling feel.

This album's keyboarding is subtle, and only adds to build the sound without overshadowing the play instruments. Where other albums fail getting a digestible mix of symphony, this album gets it right, even more so than some black metal staples like Dimmu Borgir. The vocals are a mix of very fast verbalizations, to deeper grunts. Often difficult to hear full pronunciation, but the lyrics add to an overall song progression and flow. Overall there a dynamic in sound through the whole album, and through each song, a very good quality of a symphonic black metal album. There is a clear Emperor and Dimmu Borgir influences, but not a copy and paste of their style. If you like Dimmu Borgir, this brings a less fancy, but still symphonic approach to black metal.

For those Introduce into the black metal genre, I always keep this album in mind as one of the first to offer.

Superior Black Metal Class - 100%

Kristenhat666, November 9th, 2006

If you’re looking for a band that plays typical pure Black metal yet is extremely original and more inspired than the majority of bands around, do read this review. KVIST were rather short-lived and brought out a single album, but this only adds to the impact of “FOR KUNSTEN MAA VI EVIG VIKE”, their only release. This CD had a very weak promotion when it came out, people were too busy focusing on bands that had already made a name for themselves and it was consequently overlooked by most adepts of the genre. I do feel that time has changed this fact, and know countless individuals who esteem this release at its just value. There is an incredible dose of musicianship on “FOR KUNSTEN…”, and the band members seem to have gone to a great deal of trouble to create a work of art. And so they did.

Here’s my personal enrapturing musical experience. Back in 1996, I was handed a tape by a friend of mine. It included Gehenna ’s ”Seen through the veils…”, which all my friends described as a fantastic album, and “FOR KUNSTEN…”, which was deemed not to deserve any kind of description. Upon arriving home, I played the cassette. About 25 seconds into side 2, I turned around, eyes open wide, and looked at my Hi-Fi system in total disbelief! What KVIST started delivering from the outset is what I’m about to describe to you now. In detail.

First of all, the riffs: yes, they are your typical fast-picked ones, slowing down merely on rare occasions. The band, however, made no effort to copy any other album around, and yet manage to deliver some of the catchiest melodies and passages I have ever heard. If you long for typical BM riffing that does not remind you of a hundred other bands, KVIST should be at the top of your list.

As regards the vocals, listeners should not expect high-pitched ones or an alternation of Black and Death growls. What the vocalist does here can only be summarized as pure aggression and hatred. His voice is very powerful and dominates in the overall musical concept. It is not just heard in the background, as it is with many bands. What the frontman offers us is exactly what BM vocals should be like.

When it comes to the bass guitar and the drums, they are highly responsible for this album’s originality. The bass is not overwhelmed and covered by the guitars as on most BM albums. Not as overdriven as one would expect, it is heard continuously and this only highlights the bands musicianship. They knew exactly what they wanted to achieve. The drums, on the other hand, are probably the most original instrument on “FOR KUNSTEN…”. It would be a lie to say that they are not BM-sounding, but the way the drummer changes or breaks the pace in the songs is quite untypical and succeeds in surprising the listener, adding to his enjoyment of the CD. I will not, however, compare the drummer’s style to that of other musical genres, as I find that insulting.

Last but not least, the sound: the production has endowed KVIST with a sounding I cannot call “typical freezing” True Black Metal. This is not a raw album, so the sound was created accordingly. In fact, the band seems not to have wanted to release another “primitive” BM album. Instead, they chose to have a sound that raises the musical performance to a class of its own, and the general impression this creates is that of an extremely “noble” album, towering high above common bands of the genre.

Have they managed to do so??? Definitely. On “FOR KUNSTEN MAA VI EVIG VIKE”, KVIST have offered us Black Metal of the highest and most outstanding class. They have even opted for Norwegian lyrics, increasing the “true-ness” of the atmosphere. So if, like me, you believe that BM stands above all other genres, then you should not content yourself with anything less than KVIST have produced!

Mid 90's NWBM - 92%

Danthrax_Nasty, July 14th, 2004

Released in 1995 on Avantgarde Music, and consisting of a mere six tracks (with only one song under 5:00 minutes) this is one epic masterpiece whose sheer original prowess is felt within the first 30 seconds. Now, this may not have been a revolutionary record, or one that even has garnered much accolade outside of its genre, or in music as a whole, but what this is, is one fine damn piece of Black Metal history in the vien of early melodic Norwegian Black Metal. I can pick up on sounds similiar to bands such as Satyricon, Dod Heimsgard, some Ulver material, and maybe alittle of Immortals frostier melodic moments. With that said, I should put an emphasis also on how much this band truely captures its own sound among the likes of now much more well recieved (probably due to this being the bands sole full length release), and more famous bands, which is certainly not due to superiority in anyway.

Overall the production is about as perfect as one could expect from a mid nineties Black Metal act, and every aspect (vocals, guitars, drums) are very much present, and easily decipherable. Not a complaint here about any of the production, great mix, tight music, and well that really says it all.

The guitars have a clear, solid tone, and really help to create a great melodic sound. The distortion, and tone could be said to be similiar to possibly Emperors Nightside Eclipse (with a little more punch), or Satyricon's Dark Medieval Times. A good variety of riff styles, odd timings, and great change ups are present on here, and really show how badass this band was. Not one complaint, or dissatisfing moment, or part here.

The vocals are mixed just right, in my opinion, and have a good feel to them. Nothing very unique in this department, but fitting, well produced, and properly done vocal paterns. If I had to make a comparison I'd say something like a deeper Nocturno Culto, but that could be a bit of a stretch (I dont know).

The drums are mixed will over all, and have a good hard hitting, clear sound that is very present through out the album. Great fucking drum rolls, fills, and what not. Just overall a great drummer, who was recorded well in a good studio, so yeah what more could you ask for.

Overall I thought this album kicked some fucking ass, too bad this one was the bands sole full length. Of the many, many albums that came from Norway in the mid nineties this is as much a worthy album as most any others, including Emperor, Gorgoroth, Enslaved, or Immortal.