Recorded by Bjørnar E. Nilsen of Vulture Industries, Bergen, Norway’s favorite sons, Taake and Helheim have a new split record on tap for the coldest part of the year.
Taake shares two tracks with us. As you might imagine, they are as frigid as the northernmost Norwegian winter, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Taake is one of those acts who never compromise. It’s not about accessibility or trying to tame a form of art that can not and should not be tamed. You either accept this a Taake listener or you move on to something else. If you accept Taake, you quickly come to appreciate the brilliance.
“Ein Baat I Foss” is a song that could easily make you think you’re listening to one of the band’s first three records. Unrelenting, harsh and biting, it’s signature Taake. This song, however, features lyrics from the 19th century, specifically those written by Arne Garborg. Garborg was a champion of a distinct Norwegian language and a critic of the role of religion in modern society. Yup, seems like a perfect match here.
“Brotne Bein og Mannefall” is another blisteringly fast track that will satisfy the base. Lots of tremolo guitars matched with Hoest’s unmistakable vocals. Of course, this song isn’t without some twists and turns. “Brotne” takes you through a number of different sonic dimensions and feelings in the matter of just a few minutes.
Helheim’s contributions are two cover songs. First, they do a chilling cover of Emperor’s “Heksesabbat / Witches Sabbath,” originally released on the tribute album “A Tribute to Emperor – In Honour of Icon E” from 2012. It’s an original take on a classic you’ll recognize. Helheim introduces new sounds to the track in terms of both instrumentation and vocal to make it distinctively their own. The real curve here is a reimagined version of the Taake song “Orkan” from the seminal album Noregs Vaapen. This take is a melodic, folkish version with some beautiful vocals that will completely take you by surprise. At the same time, the song is still dark and haunting; the way it’s presented in terms of feel, by Taake in its original form.
Taake’s original “Orkan” was nominated for a Spellman Award, the Norwegian version of the Grammys. Helheim’s cover of this might deserve a nomination in its own right.
Helheim is one of Western Norway’s greatest bands. They fly under the radar here in North America for some reason, but there is no doubt that they’re worth some more investigation stateside. Here’s one of my more recent favorites from Helheim:
and here’s a classic Helheim track with none other than Hoest himself on guest vocals!
The red vinyl is limited to 333 copies. You should know by now that this record will sell out so if you don’t order it quickly you might be out of luck if you wait. You can order it via Dark Essence Records here. It officially releases March 19.
This 10 inch record completes Taake’s split release series. While we haven’t heard of Taake’s plans after this release (other than some forthcoming festival announcements) be assured we’ll be on it when we get the word.