Label: Indie Recordings
Realase Date: 1/8/16
If you like: Todtgelichter, Obscura, progressive death metal
Standout Tracks: Sólverv, Geitaskadl, Når Byane Brenn, Fridom med Daudens Klang
I had never heard of Norway's Vreid until this album. I seriously regret this now. On their seventh studio album (fifth on Indie), and first since 2013, Vreid have completed something close to a masterpiece. The band came together from the ruins of Windir (1994-2004), when the remaining members decided to solider on after the loss of vocalist Valfar. Let's thank the big man downstairs they did.
Sólverv is a grooving progressive death album with a blues influence or undertone. The vocals and instruments sound great—a fluid machine. Sometimes in progressive/technical death metal, bands throw so many notes at you its hard to tell how hard you’re being pummeled. With Sólverv, each note hits you in perfect rhythm forcefully and with brutality.
There is not a band song on this album. “Haust” is a great opener and sets the tone for the whole album. The self-titled track is a locomotive powered on blast beats and pure evil. “Geitaskadl” is the most complete song and best representation of the band in my eyes. It evolves like a feral Pokemon and goes for the neck. The symphonic layers add a wide ambient sound that fills out the band perfectly.
“Når Byane Brenn” has an intro that is hypnotizing and sounds like a sadistic Jaws is devouring me. I'm okay with it. The rest of the song is pretty fucking sweet as well….it has COWBELL. “Fridom med Daudens Klang” is basically a black metal song, going back to the band's roots in Windir.
There's a bunch of different elements sprinkled into this release, and they add extra flavor to Vreid's metal palate. Sólverv is a must have for any fan of progressive death metal, and could be one of the best releases of the year. It will be very hard to forget.
4.5 out of 5 horns