Taake / Whoredom Rife – Pakt (Terratur Possessions)
Review by Milos Sebalj
It seems like somebody has been growing up behind my back! Taake somehow managed to slip under my radar for the last couple of years, mostly due to a kind of a rut they have fallen into. This 10” piece of wax is here to prove me gravely mistaken. Not only are the Norwegians capable of stepping outside their own boundaries, but they do it in style! Whoredom Rife, on the other hand, I’ve never encountered before. And they have a fairly rich discography, considering they originated just six years ago. On this release they present exactly what I was expecting on the other side of the vinyl.
Taake most definitely didn’t stray completely from the black metal roots they have sprung from. Those early methods of creating the trademark Norse coldness are still omnipresent, though enriched by a myriad of ‘outside’ influences. Somehow I’ve gotten to a connotation with the newer productions from Darkthrone, even though Taake doesn’t use as much punk. There are some of the more modern black metal moments provided by the guitar harmonies. Soon enough it all switches to some rock ‘n’ rolling bravado or even stoner metal fusion. To place it on top of a regular black metal background seems impossible, but it came true. And it doesn’t sound bad at all! At the very end of their one original track on the 10” is an acoustic passage bringing an epic, folkish finale to the song. Unexpected, interesting experiment which might prove to be very successful. I will have to fill the gaps in my knowledge of their most recent works, as I probably missed quite a lot.
Oh, and the second track on Taake’s part of this split is a cover of The Sisters of Mercy. If I was surprised on the previous song, now I’m swept off my feet, as the Norwegians mastered the original and made it completely their own! Majestic!
Whoredom Rife come with two of their own tracks which are much easier to digest. Black metal, as traditional as it gets, is what we’re being served. There’s not much philosophy to these songs, as you all know what they are all about. However, I wouldn’t call them simple copycats, even if much of what is played here could easily be found on many similar records. Not that they strive to get away from their obvious influences, or manage a highly recognizable sound. Not at all! But they offer an atmospheric perspective which is fairly captivating. Mostly due to the guitar leads and occasional parts which go for a more epic approach. Also, Whoredom Rife does not thrive on maximum speed. The duo has a fine sense of rhythm, incorporated in the complex arrangements, thus providing very well diversified and dynamic tracks. Especially since they last for over six minutes each.
While it is quite clear to me that I need to brush up on my Taake, I should take on some more Whoredom Rife as well. A 10” worth having, for sure. Unless you’re too lazy to get up and switch sides every 10 or so minutes.