This a masterpiece. And masterpieces are hard to describe.
Vreid started from the ashes of Windir, started as a pure Black Metal statement, and on each album they’ve been becoming better and better. I believe Lifehunger is their zenith so far!
This album is what I want in an album: aggressive, soulful, metal, creative!
One the best bands that hail from Norway nowadays (hands down!) along with Enslaved, Borknagar, Iskald and Solefald, this album just proves that they deserve even more for their approach on Black Metal.
After the acoustic starter Flowers and Blood, the band goes on a black metal binge in the song One Hundres Years, with excellent musicianship, although not so fancy, but heck, they play so full of energy that it’s impossible to stay put. The band goes to some clean vocals, just to return to a pure Nordic Black Metal attack, varying tempos and nuances.
The thrasher Lifehunger is aggressive and calls quickly for a black metal blast beat, and as the song veers to the dark side, out of the blue they give a nod to Metallica’s Enter Sandman (or Excel if you know what I REALLY mean), this musical piece a variation of that music with raspy vocals spewing blasphemies just to return to the killer riff and black metal mode. Man, this is one of the best things I’ve heard this year!
The party continues on the Dead White with a dramatic riff, and heavy metal mid-tempo, a must for those who just want to headbang. Over again the song changes, but this time, it’s a beautiful acoustic guitar that takes place… well shortly, just to explode again in a lethal metal.
The strange track here is Hello Darkness, maybe because the black metal growls are abandoned in favor of a more post-punk approach. Clean vocals all the way and simpler riffs don’t prevent the song of being extremely heavy in this strange concept.
Black Rites in the Black Nights has a punctuate way of singing, (the black vocals are back here), the song is extremely heavy but not fast and it’s the longest song of the album, 6+ minutes. It’s the more progressive among the others.
Ha, now they are back in the terrorist mode with the Sokrates Must Die. Fast as fuck, a mix between black and thrash (interestingly enough not blackened thrash metal) it goes to some uncharted territory, maybe with something of Sarke, but so much faster.
Heimatt closes the album with a melancholic note, but the tune has a crescendo of riffs and the final solo is inspiring. It’s a instrumental song, where they bet everything and they WIN!
Lifehunger is not an experimental album though. Vreid, although the accented difference from the previous albums, continues to be a black metal band, not some avant-garde venture. But they simply use the black metal as their basis and put what they want inside, over and between. That’s not a salad. It’s the most incredible form of music!
Lifehunger is out NOW on Season of Mist.
(Daniel “Roderick Totentanz” Death)