posted on 9/2007 By:
Following on quickly from last year’s Pitch Black Brigade, Vreid’s latest full-length, I Krig, sees the Norwegian band continuing to refine their unique fusion of black metal and classic rock. On this album Vreid combine strong hooks, distinct vocals and a broad musical palette into a powerful and just plain rocking collection of songs. From start to finish, I Krig is an innovative, distinct and above all entertaining release that stands apart from the black metal pack.
Vreid’s embracing of power-chord driven, four-bar rock n’ roll is immediately apparent on I Krig’s opener "Jarnbyrd". Propelled by a simple but catchy main riff, the song has an almost 70’s rock feel, going so far as featuring a cowbell! The acidic, high-pitched vocals of lead throat Sture make an immediate impression, coming across like a young Quorthon (RIP) challenging Lind Blair to a razor-gargling contest. The fact that the lyrics are all sung in the band’s native Norwegian adds to the authenticity of the performance. While the following track "Under Isen" injects more speed into proceedings and has a more traditional 90’s feel, the title track sees Vreid start to open up musically, incorporating violin, clean guitar and layered vocals into a more dramatic song structure. From here the album expands on its black metal/hard rock base with other influences – folk in particular - coming into play.
As well as the vocals, the other standout musical aspect of I Krig is the textured guitar work. Apart from the abundance of hooky, groove-laden riffs there are some tasteful solos sprinkled throughout the album, as well as excellent use of melody. I Krig’s folk elements are most pronounced on its later tracks. Both "Dei Daude Steig Av Grav" and "Fangegard" feature cleanly sung vocals and spoken word interludes juxtaposed against galloping black metal rhythms, while album closer "Millom Hav Og Fjell" goes from a folk intro to black n’ roll stomp, concluding with an effective piano piece. The amalgamation of Vreid’s various influences in these last few songs is impressively tight.
On I Krig, Vreid have continued to refine their unique style in impressive fashion. There isn’t much I can fault this disc on, as it consistently delivers on the main points of musicianship, production values and especially songwriting. Black metal devotees who appreciate a bit of light and shade should eat this up. Solid.
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