TAAKE – Avvik
- by J.N.
- Posted on 01-07-2021
The renowned Norwegian black metal entity Taake hardly needs any introduction and what we have here is essentially a compilation record consisting of three different split releases and an exclusive bonus track. That right there should be more than sufficient information to seriously whet your appetite and make you invest your time in "Avvik".
With material culled from the three thrilling releases that are "Pakt" (2020), "Jaertegn" (2020), and "Henholdsvis" (2021), this 7-track offering is actually incredibly (and perhaps surprisingly) cohesive considering the fact that the songs are lifted from different outputs and sessions. Simply put, it reads and feels like a proper full-length opus, which is great. While "Ubeseiret" is one of the finest and most elegantly composed pieces in the Taake discography yet, "Ein Baat i Foss" is a raging tempest of melancholy and despair. The cover renditions of "Heartland" (The Sisters of Mercy) and "Ravnajuv" (Darkthrone) are well-executed too and in general there is no shortage of howls of pain, anger, visceral hatred, or inner turmoil anywhere in sight from beginning to end. The bonus cut is a beautiful, moving acoustic version of "Nattestid Ser Porten Vid I" and it is so utterly brilliant, evocative, and heartfelt that it defies words. You need to experience that one as words cannot do it justice.
To these ears, "Avvik" is an excellent collection of robust, memorable material that leaves nothing to be desired in terms of conjuring a thick, impenetrably dark atmosphere, and the entire affair is as focused, convincing, and hugely emotive as they come. There are no uninspired or unengaging tunes to be found here and the disc is a strong reminder of just how efficient and effective black metal can be when delivered with class, aggression, and a touch of raw sophistication. Through dismal gates and over unquiet graves, those abhorrent feelings of longing are blowing hard throughout this album’s harsh, windswept soundscape – and I really fucking like that. A bleak gem for sure.