Written by: EW on 12/12/2008 18:34:38

Being another True Norwegian Black Metal band, and another who have courted some serious controversy over the years, Taake will most likely be disregarded by all but the most blackened of souls as another act living off the hype and headlines with no substantial music pedigree to back it up. Hell, even I had dumped them unknowingly into this category prior to listening to their fourth, self-titled, album. Actually, whilst the controversy will forever stand against the name of Taake (or really frontman Hoest), "Taake" contains enough musical chops to certify Taake as one of the leaders of the crowd.

Too many suffer from having no knowledge of musical composition; when to slow down; how to slow down; and how to produce a BM album that bares an identity of its own without being too far 'out there' to repel the narrow-minded individuals that bands like Taake call their fans and whom would desert a band the instant they've ventured from the suffocating confines of the TNBM sound. "Taake" is a deeply layered record that offers far more than the usual Satan-worshipping and fuzzy discordant riffing perpetrated by Hoest et al's Scandinavian brothers. Album highlight "Umenneske" takes the best of Darkthrone/Burzum's bleak misanthropic sounds and slows it down to a doom pace better than anything Candlemass have offered in recent years. Not being of the suicidally miserable nature that Shining and Forgotten Tomb possess in their morose black droning, Taake belch forth the crusty, yet timeless sound of prime Norwegian BM, imbuing within it the essential requirement of nihilistic atmosphere in "Motpol" that alone can be the make-or-break for bands like Taake. This genuine portrayal of darkness is a credit to the songsmanship of Hoest. Not stopping at the bleakness within "Motpol" the song gradually transforms into a period of Nachtmystium-like spacey 'rock' soloing. As if to prove this feature wasn't that of a one-off, a 'black'n'roll' feel, mastered by Darkthrone of late but evident in much BM where not specifically attained nor recognised for it's inclusion, can be detected in "September Omsider" and "Velg Bort Livet" with it's touch of the old Enslaved about it, a band not unknown for their rock sensibilities.

Not all tracks on show offer such detailed analysis of the genres forefathers otherwise the mark being awarded could have been even higher. Taake aren't for everybody; Hoest's stupid idea to daub his chest in a swastika and his contentious apology for it afterwards have assured Taake's place in the annals of BM's badboys, a factor equally likely to draw some people to the band in the manner it will repel many more. But now that Darkthrone have thrown in the towel for producing their own self-styled 'TNBM' someone was required to take their place; with "Taake", Taake appear to have done just that.

Download: Umenneske, Motpol, September Omsider
For The Fans Of: Darkthrone, Burzum, Nachtmystium
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date: 17.10.08
Svartekunst Productions

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