Reviewed: July 2021
Released: 2021, Dark Essence Records
Reviewer: Demitri Levantis
Taake is one of the more mysterious bands from the Norwegian black metal world, and this is reflected in their new compilation release “Avvik”, which translates to “anomaly” or “deviation” in their native tongue. The objective of this release is to show off just how different Hoest has been keeping his project over its nearly three-decade existence.
For anyone familiar with Taake’s sound, you’ll be aware of the use of unexpected instruments like banjos in their tunes, and Avvik makes no difference with the guest appearance of Dr Mikannibal of Sigh playing a saxophone solo on “Heartland”, a Sisters of Mercy cover. One for all the goth rock lovers of the Norwegian sound.
On a very personal level, I cannot say I’m a fan of compilation albums unless they are composed of hard-to-find material, and in this case, Taake has made any material put out on small releases available for any fan who likes to know all their favourite group has put out.
Avvik is composed of several rare tracks which weren’t included on any studio releases and instead made it onto splits with other groups like Whroedom Rife, Deathcult and Helheim. Hoest has compiled what I can best describe as some well-crafted tunes about the darkest and most evil and wintry themes he can create and wants to make it clear that Taake will not change its sound nor give up its quirkiness in comparison to fellow Norwegian bands. Darkness and a cold, hard shade of evil and raw anger leaps from every track, be they fully charged with jagged electric guitars or more mellow and acoustic.
There is a nice range of raw and very lo-fi songs alongside slightly more epic pieces to please anyone who wants to understand just how steadfast Taake have been throughout their history. Avvik was made with the record collector in mind, so Hoest has made something that will put a smile on any keen collector’s face. Add this one to your collection if you are a strong follower of this band and want to know all they have created.