Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Vreid: " Welcome Farewell"
Maybe I haven't listened to the "V" album in a minute but I'm surprised at how much heavier this album is. Fans of their old band Windir will want to raise their mead horns high as it feels like they are dipping back into those days. Where "V" gave a wink to their thrash influences, here they acknowledge them by galloping right over them so the bits of Slayer and Bathory only seen under hoof. At the same time I'm really sure I would consider this a black metal album, the blasts are subtle like in " The Reap" where it's played as an accent on the ride cymbal.
On first listen it trashes past me with a speed that requires a second to fully digest. The opening number fades into its forward charge that kicks after the first minute. The thrash vibe is up front, the vocals really the only thing blackened and their rasp is almost more of an Immortal croak on this one. The clean vocals are layered under the harsher main vocals and tend to take more of a back seat than they did on the previous release. By my second pass through this album this song clicked for me and I attribute that to the difference from what I expected after "V" . I went into this fearing something more along the lines of the last Enslaved.
"The Way of the Serpent" is full speed ahead, the drumming really shines here but a more furious performance through out. after the initial barrage one of the albums trends emerge which the fact there are a lot of just fun riffs, they merge midway through this song but establishes the statusnquo for the rest of the album. The guitar excesses of this album are all in good taste give. The context within which they are executed. This is by no means hipster metal but it still smartly written with no illusions to being post anything even in its more adventurous sections later on.www
Things get more retro on " The Devils hand" going back further into the early eighties where the punk rock influence in thrash is seem on the opening riff, though galloped riff is metal at its most definable.This is even less black metal than the last Goat Whore album, the blasts pop up here and there but are outnumbered by thrash groove which are often very bass driven. The break downs into half time don't really have the mosh feel. Ur are still effective in making things more epic.
The title track has the virtuosic thrash style guitar almost like something from Testament's "New Order" album. The gallop on this one is very powerful with the bass factoring heavily in the fray. The wretched vocals are almost more Kreator or even Sodom in delivery on this album as a whole, not as sonic a scream as black metal tends to be an more articulate. The clean guitar at the final moments of this song provide a nice jumping off point for th layered almost solo like quality the scone guitar part takes on.
Going into this I knew a video had been released which makes this the equivalent of a single if this sort of thing was going to get air play. The vocal delivery reminds me of Sentenced though in some instances the lower clean vocals make me think of a cross between Morbid Angel and Rotting Christ.So more accessible but far from being a grab for the dollars. This song is however very concise and gets in and out in under four minutes.
The more dynamic sonic explorations on the intro and second half of " Sights of Old" aren't likely to turn too many staunch metallars away as they are peppered with soloing and not loaded down with keyboards and clean vocals, both of which I'm a fan of but some metal minds are not as open. It creates a foreboding at the front end and more of a looser jam feel when it reappears. The meat in between is one of the grimmer moments though it alternates into a thrasher section. It shows it's personality more when it slows down into a stomp.
"Black Waves" is classic thrash mixtes with a little frost on the guitar the way the chords ring out. The vocals that remind me of Sentenced resurface, not really what I would call clean singing, the rapier vocal arrange,ent is syncopated around the riff Ina way that creates a hook while the bass melodically fluxuatea underneath. I think this is one of the best songs on the album as the twists and turns it takes while frequent are compressed into a solid
The album closes with the bass heavy " At the brook" the guitar tones on this are an example of how while some of the Windir feel was recreated here this is a slicker effort, though not a fan of the cover art which looks fan drawn and not as cool as just the bands logo. The solo at the beginning could have almost been lifted from a Flotsam and Jetsam album. The bass crushes when it rumbles I at the one minute mark and I like the fact it really maintains a presence through out the album
Metal purists will fully embrace this album, as it it's the same sweet spot that sits along side the classics well in a similar fashion to Skeleton Witch. This album doesn't hold any faults, they some times regress back into the Windir speeds as an easier way out, but while it works and I'm impressed by the fact this is heavier than its predecessors I was hoping this would be coupled the more expansive sound they had on that album, so thir excellence is in execution and it's a lot of fun to listen ill give this album a 9 , I think it will recapture any of the old Windir fans they lost when they added more melodic vocals on the last album.