Vreid - I Krig
Indie Recordings
Black'n'Roll with Folk touches
9 songs (45"07")
Release year: 2007
Vreid, Indie Recordings
Reviewed by Alex

Somehow I always start a Vreid review by remembering Windir, while ardently trying to make the case not to compare the two. If I were ever to meet the untimely and unfortunate demise, just like Terje “Valfar” Bakken did, I would want the people who work with me and for me to carry on the torch, in the way they see fit. Such should be the essence of a team player and team leader, and Valfar was one.

With I Krig (At War) Vreid delivers if not their strongest then certainly their most mono-style oriented consistent album. If Kraft rode the emotional wave of Windir’s end and showed Vreid exploring many an avenue in black metal, Norwegian and otherwise, then Pitch Black Brigade unabashedly declared their love for the groove with cuts like Left to Hate. The fans of Kraft should rejoice as on I Krig Vreid brings the folk touches and epic feel back, while integrating it organically with the now familiar black’n’roll.

Perhaps it was the lyrical subject matter that drove Vreid to lean back more on the heritage. The lyrics on I Krig are loosely based on the collection of poems by Gunnar Reiss Andersen dealing with his life and impressions during his day in Norwegian resistance when the country was occupied by the Nazi Germany in World War II. Interestingly enough, Norway, just like Russia, still celebrates their Liberation (in the Russian case Victory) Day on May 8-9, coinciding with the 1945 Nazi Germany capitulation.

Several moments on the album sound like a dedication to fallen heroes, as in the beginning of the opener Jarnbyrd and in Dei Daude Steig Av Grav where stomping around the forest fire and fitting semi-clean vocals can be heard. The black’n’roll groove, however, is prevalent throughout (Vaepna Lengsel) and, at times, the blackened thrash becomes really dirty and grimy (Folkefiendar). In tune, Sture really turns his esophagus inside out on that track.

Not willing to settle for the simple and ordinary Vreid is really trying to forge their own style when additional layers are added to their brand of black’n’grind fusion. Fangegard sees Steingrim reaching for quite intricate drumming and very non-standard riff pattern, before the track puts out practically a NWOBHM dual guitar harmony. The title track proves that violin/cello integration can be very organic, rather blending the folk melody into the overall sound than making the band sound mellow. The transition from acoustic to speedy blastbeat is smooth and welcome. And I am certain Valfar is smiling, from wherever he is at, while listening to the epic melodies and cymbal ride of Under Isen and Svart, two of my favorite songs on the album. The overall melodic edge, compared to Pitch Black Brigade, is certainly raised, Vreid guitarists having a propensity to finish quite a few songs with melodic solos on I Krig.

The closer Millom Hav Og Fjell being a little different from the rest of the bunch, starting off closer to In Extremo minstrel style, I Krig is the album where modern black metal Khold groove meets Enslaved rhythm and prog intricacies with just a dash of Windir old epicness.

Killing Songs :
Under Isen, I Krig, Svart, Fangegard
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Vreid that we have reviewed:
Vreid - Welcome Farewell reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Vreid - V reviewed by Crash and quoted 82 / 100
Vreid - Milorg reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
Vreid - Pitch Black Brigade reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Vreid - Kraft reviewed by Alex and quoted 92 / 100
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