Taketh - Ignorance is Strength
Self released
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (34'39")
Release year: 2013
Reviewed by Alex

Ignorance is Strength by the Swedes Taketh is a textbook example of the debate whether following the tenets of the style almost to a tee has merits, even if your music is pretty well crafted. Playing melodic death metal similar to many of their countrymen who came before them, Taketh apparently enjoy what they do, but they definitely expose themselves for the aforementioned discussion.

Melodic tremolo riffs or hardcore chops, you can hear tributes to various bits of melodic death metal throughout Ignorance is Strength. It is just a matter of picking up proper examples to line this music up against. Steady chords and catchy simple melody of In Memory is Morphing into Primal from Whoracle. Slight keys touches in the opener Moving On is more modern Dark Tranquillity, while bouncy faster beat and a certain degree of grittiness in We Are Slaves, Burning, and 1984 is more The Mind’s I. The melodies on the album are good, some of them are really piercing and come from the heart (Flaws), the band can pick their way through the leads (Moving On) and they can get creative invoking a Celtic reference in the closing of Burning. Yet by the time 1984 rolls around, it isn’t just the feeling that you heard it all before, it is the feeling that you heard it all before done so many times, you almost start playing a mind game what track is aped from what earlier historic reference. I can sit here and play this game, invoking those instances of Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, At the Gates, Sacrilege and The Everdawn, but you get the point by now. And when Taketh idea to spice things up and introduce something different is simply to come up with another breakdown or two (Your Master, 1984), that alone won’t endear them to my heart.

Musicianship on Ignorance is Strength is up to par, and the production seems to be the right balance of gritty and legible. Vocalist David Dahl does not do enough singing with his gruff vocals, in my opinion, and his style is more about barking it out sounding gruff. Switching to the clean vocals then (Moving On, 1Inside of Me84) sounds decisive and different, but unfortunately those vocals don’t sound captivating either. In short, David Dahl is not Mikael Stanne.

You may infer from the review that I did not like Ignorance is Strength at all, and I need to dispel this notion. The album actually gave me some simple pleasures, that comfortable familiarity with the music when you can be listening to the things for what they are, not trying to hear intricacies or new elements. As many of you know, give me anything that has the thrashier Dark Tranquillity/At The Gates formula in it and I am bound to extract some enjoyment out of the presentation. At the same time, Taketh is a perfect example of why the more pioneering bands, like Dark Tranquillity, are trying to move on hoping not to be repeating themselves. There will be bands like Taketh who will do plenty of repeating for them and provide nostalgia for where the originators have been a decade and a half ago. (Whether the veterans and pioneers are successful in their quest is up for the debate, which is just as valid, but this is not the subject of this review).

Killing Songs :
Moving On, In Memory, Flaws, Burning
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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