Norge is alive!
Holy fuck! It has already been eleven years since Valfar passed away and Vreid came from the ashes of Windir. Six albums later, here they are again with the majestic and almighty Sólverv.
Their reputation was never marred and this album came to cement this statement. Those who are true to themselves in this world of Black Metal throughout the years hold Vreid in great respect!
Their new album is crystal clear Norwegian Black Metal: melodic, skillfully played, made with gusto, and innovative as long as black metal can be genuine.
First song Haust is haunting. Keyboards, hissing riffs, Viking attitude, tight drumming: The perfect world one can live within.
The title-track Sólverv comes to show what Vreid is into: double bass / kicking ass drums with the Nordic ride cymbal, multitudinous guitar riffs and a cyclone of excellent solos, just to halt, and the next thing you know, a 4/4 middle paced drum commando with quasi-thrash riffs paying homage to the metal gods of old. Or maybe, they are paying homage to themselves since they are also metal gods. A helluva tune, impressing in its grandiosity!
Geitaskadl starts with a “one… one, two, three… one, two, three” way. Only to blast in a deluge of black metal riffs but that serving as a mere introduction as the tempo changes in a matter of seconds revealing the true nature of a song (as if it was another track in a segue), smouldering black metal with some breaks here and there, the vocals of Sture Dingsøyr with his peculiar bellows showcasing identity and attitude amidst a noise gate that only serves to demonstrate a “sendepause” with a keyboard sleeping in just one note and there is the song scorching all over again. This piece clocks in at 8 minutes, so they use and abuse of the spacious leitmotif to set the crescendos and occasional diminuendos in motion.
Ætti sitt Fjedl is where the music gets a sort of normality in tempo, but the time signatures are not necessarily still. Keyboard grants casual air of ambient music, but as the song is another long piece it soon revamps itself in plain Svart Metal attack.
But the best in my book is Når Byane Brenn championing a killer riff and a tremendous metallic “intro” with a cowbell as the icing on the cake… the song is a blistering metal never ceasing to amuse, never disappointing the fan. The outstanding moment in an outstanding album! Of course a great music deserves a grand finale!
But that’s not the end. Vreid never loses the momentum, and they soon put another great deck of riffs on the table with the penultimate tune Storm frå Vest. Oh man, where do they get their inspiration???
Fridom med daudens klang is the last (and lasting) track of the album. Not that it is kind of a chore to hear it, it’s because it has a long intro to the great tune that it is. The solos are phenomenal. Deftly played, this piece is splendid and it proves to be dramatic as well, by the middle to final part of the song with a romantic-era keyboard, over again flaming up into hateful music.
Actually I avoid saying that this is the best album, that another album will make a huge success, or that another one will be in my final-year list. But candidly, this is the best album of 2015 so far. I might have said that about a band this year. Sólverv surpassed. For it is a masterpiece, I was waiting for an album to call my own in the middle of the decade and now I found it. Romantic as I am, it shall remain my fave for some months to come. Bravo! Bravissimo!
Sólverv is going to be released on October 9th on Indie Recordings
(Daniel “Roderick” Death)