September 5, 2007 | , | 3.5

Vreid, I Krig

There’s just something about a metal band that performs in their native language (particulary one that I am unfamiliar with) that seems to make that album even more evil than it truly is. Vried’s I Krig is just one of those albums. This Norwegian quartet’s take on black metal has plenty of thrash, anthemic riffs, and enough groove to make I Krig just addictive enough to want to kill for it.

Their name meaning “wrath” in their native tongue, Vreid perform with a fury and intensity that can only be tempered by their more theatrical pieces of music. Mixing soulful guitar, a slight rock influence and orchestration with turbulent, unrelenting blasts of drums and riffing, Vreid have on their third album one hell of a release.

As much as this track brings to mind the classic SNL skit with Christopher Walken (YouTube link), the cowbell on this opening song is just too infectious to just not like. It’s used sparingly and to great effect. “Jarnbyrd” has one hell of a groove to it after starting out quite dramatically.

Under Isen
“Under Isen” has one hell of a catchy riff to get it started. The lead vocals and drumming really get this one going deep into head banging territory. This one has some nice melody mixed with big riffs. This one sounds like a rally call to war — it’s core riff is quite anthemic.

I Krig
Folkish string works sets the mood briefly before being swallowed by some infectious riffing and slower, rock oriented material. The 1:50 point on the song marks the introduction of some quickly paced black metal and a huge scream. More strings are used in conjunction with the rest of the music, adding a nice layered sound. Weighing in at nearly 9 minutes in length, this one has a well seasoned mature sound.

Væpna Lengsel
A driving, catchy beat/riff combo and short scream get the fourth song moving along nicely. “Væpna Lengsel” has a great flow to it, smoothly carrying the momentum from the epic title track.

A good bit of dramatic guitar work and strings open up “Svart.” A riff and hook combination steeped in rock influences pick up the pace as the lead vocals shred. There’s some interesting backing vocals on this one that we heard briefly in the one of the previous tracks. It adds another dynamic to this track.

We some great range in the vocals on this track, ranging from deeper, more guttural to the default style we’ve heard through the album thus far. The vocals give this one a much darker and passionate feel. I love it!

Dei Daude Steig Av Grav
Another memorable riff opens up this next track. There’s no deviation from it for the first minute, then a slight tempo change shifts the pace a bit. It’s subtle, but quite effective.

“Fangegard” starts off slowly before some galloping riffs and a tortured scream pick up the pace. Some crazy, layered vocals add a killer effect to this one. This song involves plenty of vocals styles, tempo shifts and guitar work.

Millom Hav Og Fjell
Wrapping up the I Krig experience is “Millom Hav Og Fjell” and its catchy begining. Chanted vocals and anthemic drum beat are beyond infectious. After that brief bit of fun, Vreid kick in your teeth with some nice riffing and screams. This is one hell of a catchy song to end an album with. It makes me want to listen to I Krig repeatedly.

~ ~ ~

Vreid is another black metal band that uses orchestral instrumentation in their material — done in such a fashion that it compliments and accentuates their work. There is no competition from any of the elements on this album. Sinew shredding riffs, soulful solos, driving drums, and beyond-evil vocals work together to produce an album with a polished, well seasoned sound that’s hard to ignore.

Favorite Tracks:
Just about all of them

Additional Notes: