Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#38: Vreid - V

Not that I would consider myself a Black Metal rookie, but I will admit my fluency with the nomenclature of the genre is somewhat lacking. Hopefully I know enough that I can describe the fifth album from Norway's Vreid, simply titled V (Indie Recordings). I can't recall exactly how I stumbled upon V but since its February release it has been a near constant on my playlist. I think what keeps drawing me back to it is the feeling of motion it evokes. That feeling of soaring over desolate snow covered mountains appeals to me. The album is dominated by blasting rhythms and thunderous double-bass drumming that gallops along under some sweet tremolo picking. But it's not all full-on fury. The maelstrom is broken up in places by airy and sometimes almost folk-like passages. It brings to mind a vision of a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds to illuminate a bare spot untouched by the battle that rages all around it. The same contrast is heard in the vocals. The malicious, scathing yet decipherable screams take leave where appropriate for a talented clean voice. It's the clean singing that contributes to that folk feeling at times.  High quality, balanced production, tasteful and not overbearing atmospheric keyboards, and even some occasional acoustic guitar rounds out a sound that has inspired me to look deeper in to the history of Norwegian Black Metal.

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