About a year ago I discover Vreid for the first time. They played with Enslaved in Doornroosje in Nijmegen (NL). It was quite good I thought. But after the gig I actually forgot about this band. Until I saw in the list of albums that had to be reviewed the newest album of Vreid, called ‘Pitch Black Brigade’. I was quiet curious if they could convince me on cd as well as on stage.
Vreid released their first album called ‘Kraft’ in 2004, before that, most of the members were involved in Windir. Now it’s time for the 2nd release of the brigade from Norway.
Well, let me tell you about ‘Pitch Black Brigade’.
The album starts with ‘Då Draumen Rakna’ a real nice opener; catchy riffs, nice licks, dubbelbass passages for some headbang activities and nice screams to complete it. The 2nd song sounds a little different, more basic. It starts with punk like drums and then a distorted bass guitar falls in and gives an even more punk feeling. When the guitarist begins to play I immediately thought of the early work of Opthalamia, some kind of bluesy grooving riff. But after about 10 seconds the blastbeats are unleashed. But the ’Opthalamia’ riff returns. Great, I really like that. Another passage reminds me of Slayer‘s ‘Raining Blood’. After grooving with Slayer, the listener is treated on another groovy song. Allthough ‘Pitch Black’ has lots of groovy parts, which actually sound warm, it also sound very cold. Especially the vocals. A great mix. I really love this song.
‘The Red Smell’, hmm can something smell red? Anyhow, another great oldschool song. It has some very nice catchy riffs, great blastbeats and even some clean guitar parts. This is also the fastest song on the album.
Then there is ‘Hengebjørki’……Well, the first 4 songs were really oldschool, just guitar, bass vocals and drums. But this song starts with some chill synths and electronic percussion. Then it turns abruptly into blastbeats and the oldschool feeling is back. Allthough I like this song, I don’t think the first part of this song fits on this album. The last song is also very different. A howling wind, piano, organs and synths combined with some simple black metal riffs and vocals. Again, a nice song, but personally I ‘d remove it from the list.
The album sounds oldschool although the album has a very clear sound and is mixed very well. Fans of Darkthrone’s last album ‘The cult is alive’ will like this one as well I think.