Where can I begin with Taake? Being into the best straight-up black metal bands on the planet I can tell you I personally love everything Hoest writes for Taake. I don’t know what it is about bands from Norway, but they all know how to write music that is very visual. Which is something I’ve mentioned about another band from Norway, Galar. Black metal has always been about simulating more than one sense in the body and bands like Taake really know how to pull that off. But regardless, Taake is a unique entity all on its own. The music is well-written and coordinated while still letting that rawness seep through which is something all black metal fans adore about the genre. Hoest is one of the best musicians and songwriters alive today.
Stridens Hus starts off in a recognizable territory that fans of Taake will surely recognize. Very similar to the production in their previous effort Noregs Vaapen, which I found to be a much better release, there’s a certain sense of familiarity, but not to the point where it feels like this is the same album all over again. To start off on a high note, I will say tracks like “Det fins en Prins”, “Stank” and “Kongsgaard bestaar” are all steadfast tracks. “Det fins en Prins” being my favorite throughout this whole album. This song should represent what Taake is all about. I admire the use of major chords in that track because it gives off a strong, mountainous effect that feels very powerful. But there’s also moments in the album that aren’t so typical for Taake. Such as in the first track “Gamle Norig”, there’s a break in the song and a clean guitar with a very old-school tone and delay effects come in. That whole part sounds very soothing and adds more character to the music. We’ve seen Hoest as a songwriter do things like this before, like in the song “Myr”, which is famous for the use of the banjo. I feel like he kind of wanted to keep the same theme going with this album as well.
Now to end on a lower note. As good as this album was, I was not as impressed as I thought I would be like I was when I first heard Taake’s previous two releases. I’ll admit that my expectations might have been a bit too high for this album. It’s hard to outdo yourself sometimes, but I honestly believe the album could have done a bit better. Most of the tracks felt like fillers to me, which is something I don’t care for in albums that I listen to. I want every song to have the same power that the last one did and not have some okay tracks scattered here and there. Regardless of this album not being as strong as I would have hoped, I did enjoy it very much and I’m looking forward to the next release by Taake.
1. Gamle Norig
3. Det fins en Prins
5. En Sang til Sand om Ildebrann
6. Kongsgaard bestaar