TAAKE, Nekro (2007, Dark Essence)
Stark and haunting, skully and spooky, moonlit and creepy, this is a very effective skull cover which would have been PERFECT without that stupid “True Norwegian Blah Blah” banner in the bottom right corner.
There might not be a more prototypical Norwegian black metal band than Taake. They’ve been doing it since 1995 and continue to this day, no major changes and no turning away from what they originally set out to do. This EP came out in 2007, and its main song, the 11+ minutes of “Hennes Kalde Skamlepper,” is as good an example of Taake’s sound as any. Cold, buzzy, reverb-drenched riffs, fast-and-faster rhythms, and your usual Quorthon-derived vocals on top (ie. the guy sounds like Nocturno Culto in Darkthrone’s early/mid ’90s era, but sharper and even more scathing). There’s a bit of ambient guitar landscaping in the middle of this lengthy song, and after it kicks in again there are some odd Skoll-like bass lines happening (think Ved Buens Ende). Shorter track “Voldtekt” opens up the EP; it’s a frosty, blazing sort of thing, akin to something off Darkthrone’s similarly single-minded Transilvanian Hunger. Taake also covers Von’s “Lamb” here, and it works well enough to draw the line of influence from Von’s primitive weirdness to the basics of “True Norwegian Black Metal.” Which, by the way, Taake boasts about playing on the cover of Nekro, in case there was any question about it. This little banner also adds “Piss Off & Fuck Off,” which I will do right now. It’s cool that they don’t ask us to die after fucking off, which is usually how it goes, you know?
— Friar Wagner