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Old January 3rd, 2005, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Candlelight Records/Tabu Recordings-CDL180-January 25, 2005
By Josh Phillips

Vreid hails from Norway and Kraft is their debut release. Featuring remaining members of Windir, Vreid is a band sure to raise interest, as well they should. Having never heard Windir myself, I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I was still intrigued. Upon listening to Kraft, I can now say that I have more than enough reason to investigate these musicians past work.

Many will probably try to pin this release down as simply black metal or something of the sort, but this record soars past all descriptions and is something rather unique. Gliding from all-out thrashing madness to calmer, heartfelt pieces to slow-paced, almost ambient work, this record holds many surprises. The largest of these, was that the riffs on this album are pretty catchy and at times, this release really rips. Some moments remind me of Deströyer 666, and yes, you read that correctly. I was expecting much more of a pagan black metal sound, something similar to what you might hear from Bergthron, and those moments do exist. Listen to the second half of “Eldast, Utan Å Gro” for a good example of this. Overall though, this record is more on the riff-based, extreme side than I had anticipated and I truly enjoy it.

The opener, “Wrath of Mine” sets the tone for this release with its grooving riffs that will get your head banging. This song, like the entire album, is well constructed and flows nicely, even through the pace changes that occur. “Raped by Light” is another solid tune and I have to commend the vocal performance here. The vocals are not vastly different than your typical black metal rasp, but they are used very effectively to complement the music and even drop to a low growl briefly.

Things start to change up shortly with the intro to “Helvete”, which could be mistaken for something done by Hate Forest. A slow, methodical piece that then bursts forth with what has now become Vreid’s trademark riffage. “Unholy Water” begins with a drumbeat, the bass rolls in and the song takes off. It has a great backbone riff that the band comes back to throughout. It’s a solid piece and one of the album’s highlights. “Eldast, Utan Å Gro” focuses more on Vreid’s black metal side, and as mentioned earlier is reminiscent of an epic, pagan metal approach. “Evig Pine” is similar to “Unholy Water” and features interesting bass work. This song demonstrates very well the ability of the band to play off each other and sound tight and cohesive. “Empty” is one of those more heartfelt pieces, using only clean vocals and minimal instrumentation. The closer, entitled “Songen Åt Fangen” returns to the style of “Eldast, Utan Å Gro”, catering to the needs of the more black metal oriented listener.

On the whole, this is a record that should appeal to fans of thrash, black and probably just metal in general. It is a rather original work and really surprised me with just how good it is. For a debut album, this is very impressive, though the band members obviously have past experience with one another. As this album apparently does not get its North American release until later this month, it seems I’ve already got a contender for 2005. I will undoubtedly keep an eye out for Vreid in the future. Highly recommended.


Official Vreid Website
Official Candlelight USA Website

Last edited by Russell : January 10th, 2005 at 03:25 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, yes, yes. This took me by surprise, and the more I listen to it the more I realize it's better than anything Windir ever did. (Valfar R.I.P). I like albums like this, where there's so much more than meets the eye...
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know if I'd say this was better than what Windir did (Likferd is fucken awesome), but I do love the style that Vried have laid out here. It's a great mix of riff based black metal, fueled with a beer drinkin' intensity at the same time showing a reflective side as well.

I look forward to their new album in 2006. (Now if only they and Enslaved would tour the US. . .)
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