Like many Taake albums, Stridens hus also begins with a long guitar riff: it is the wonderful “Gamle Norig” (‘Old Norway’) that will catch you at once with its mid-tempo. It is a song in the style of Taake, but the second track “Orm” (‘Serpent’) has solos and arrangements influenced by rock'n roll or groove rock; this song also features a few choruses in clean vocals. The first blastbeats on the album are to be found in “Det fins en Prins” (‘There Is a Prince’), the song that had already been premiered by Dark Essence Records. “Stank” (‘Stench’) is characterized by a punk sound. However you will also recognize Taake’s pure “helnosk svartmetall” although the sound has been refreshed with the above mentioned influences; the voice of Hoest is more low-pitched compared to the past. I also find that the mood of Hoest’s music seems to have become less obscure. This is most evident in the second half of the album. The almost instrumental “En sang til sand om ildebrann” is a real lucubration of Hoest. The last two songs, “Kongsgaard bestaar” and “Vinger”, lean towards black'n roll, but still, you will find the icy atmosphere typical of Taake and Norwegian black metal in general.
In conclusion, Stridens hus refreshes Taake’s sound while remaining faithful to the trademark “helnorsk svartmetall”; it is an album full of variation and never repetitive or predictable. Above all, Hoest manages once again to deliver a new masterpiece even though perhaps this album has lost some of the explosive energy that has always been another trademark of Taake. In one word, Stridens hus is a masterpiece not to be missed.
Stridens hus translates in Norwegian for ‘House of Struggle’. Release date: December 8, 2014 on Dark Essence Records.
1. Gamle Norig
3. Det fins en prins
5. En sang til sand om ildebrann
6. Kongsgaard bestaar
Hoest: vocals, all instruments.