Helnorsk Svartmetall: Taake live in Kansas City 06/04/16
For the 2nd time in the first half of 2016, Norwegian black metal mainstays Taake unblessed Kansas City with their presence, this time bringing along blackened doom outfit Wolvhammer and locals Stonehaven for a night of Trve Norwegian Black Metal.
Just like in February, opening the show was Kansas City’s own black metal horde Stonehaven. Cloaked in animal pelts and chainmail, Stonehaven’s brand of viking-tinged black metal went along perfectly with the folk-ier elements of Taake and made for yet another fantastic set from the group. In particular, the final song of their set – “Sword Rape” – sounded especially vicious. Stonehaven sounds like they should be from the 90s from Norway, yet they’re from Kansas City. An amazing black metal group.
Minnesota’s Wolvhammer have been steadily making a name for themselves in recent times, being one of the premier blackened doom/sludge groups, a genre that has recently exploded in popularity. Although maybe not as intense as, say, Dragged Into Sunlight or Coffinworm, they incorporate much more of a doom metal sound into their songs; and it really makes them stand out. A blast of intense black metal sludginess backed by doom-riffs is one of the best dichotomies in heavy metal and Wolvhammer does it better than most everyone else.
Norway’s Taake toured the US for the first time in their career back in February after their original tour, slated for June 2015, was postponed due to Visa issues. This current tour they’re on is technically the makeup for those dates. Although they’ve now played Kansas City twice in about three months, Taake’s live performance is straight out of the old (read: legendary) black metal scene that makes it truly one of a kind.
Clad in dirty shirts and corpsepaint, the band took to the stage in darkness and began the set with “Nordbundet” from 2011′s breakthrough album “Noregs vaapen,” while Hoest – the actual solo performer in Taake’s studio output – sauntered on stage before grabbing the microphone and screeching out lyrics like a crazed lunatic. While most black metal musicians are stoic on stage and afraid to look like they’re having fun, Hoest may as well be a black metal rock star, he was roaming the stage and handing the microphone to the crowd for chants and sing-alongs – something other extreme metal vocalists should take note of.
The rest of the set hit virtually the rest of Taake’s discography: “Det fins en prins” and “Orm” from their latest album, 2014′s “Stridens hus”, and also a host of older cuts including untitled tracks from the groups second and third albums. The biggest crowd reaction came from the set closer “Vid I” from their debut album – it caused the heaviest moshing and headbanging of the night – but the highlight of the set came during their performance of “Myr” which by all means should be your typical black metal song, except it features a banjo solo. And, yes, they did switch out one of the guitars mid-song for a banjo and ripped that solo out just as good live as on album. It’s truly a sight to behold and is paramount to why Taake is one of extreme metal’s premier live bands right now.
It seems unfathomable that in their only 2 US tours of their career, Taake has come to the Riot Room each time. Luckily, Kansas City has given the lineup each time a raucous response, so hopefully they’ll keep coming back many times over.
2. Du ville ville Vestland
3. Det Fins En Prins
5. Fra vadested til vaandesmed
6. Hordaland doedskvad Part III
8. Hordaland doedskvad Part I
10. Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik IV
11. Vid I