Taake / Helheim – Henholdsvis

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: https://darkessencerecords.no
Released: 2021
Buy Album: https://taake.bandcamp.com/album/henholdsvis
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/taakeofficial

Band line-up:


Hoest – All instruments, vocals


Hrymr – Drums, keyboards, programming, acoustic guitars, vocals
V’gandr – Vocals, bass
H’grimnir – Vocals, guitars (rhythm)
Reichborn – Guitars (lead)


1. Brotne Bein og Mannefall – Taake
2. Ein Baat i Foss – Taake
3. Orkan – Helheim
4. Heksesabbat – Helheim





Black metal bands Taake, and Helheim will be releasing a split release called ‘Henholdsvis’ on 19th March, 2021, through Dark Essence Records. The former band’s new tracks, include lyrics that are taken from the old Norwegian writer Arne Garborg (roughly 1895). Their sound is gritty, and is cold as winter. The latter group on the other hand have come up with two cover songs. The first was actually originally by Taake, and the second was by Emperor. The whole release was recorded by Bjornar E. Nilsen in Conclave & Earshot Studio. Tours and festivals featuring the bands will be announced.  

Taake, then!: You get an interesting combination of daring, unusual harmonies (though still typically dark) and more straightforward, crushing power chords. The mixture is certainly effective at creating a Hellish vision, but there really is only one tone across the whole of the two songs. Then again two songs isn’t really a lot is it? Der. Who cares? Perhaps the strongest parts of the sound are when the whole band plays in rhythmical unison and hammers the chords and drums together at full force. You have to wait for such moments, and that is no bad thing at all. If such ideas were constant, even hardened metallers would get a bit of a headache. Such simple ideas get developed nicely with the drums getting more creative, little by little. Very powerful stuff. Again, not massively innovative, a less minimal version of Mayhem springs to mind, but it’s rather entertaining. 

Helheim!: You get some interesting time signatures in their track ‘Orkan’, making things edgy and difficult to predict, yet the creepy, clean vocals, almost add a sense of calm. The whole sound is mysterious and unsettling, yet strangely beautiful at the same time. The more typical 4/4 sections offer no relief, due to the syncopation and evil, highly chromatic bass line. Such low end ideas resemble some Candlemass stuff, such as ‘Mourners Lament’. Track ‘Heksesabbat’ is more rhythmically predictable, but don’t expect any easy listening. (Der, again). There is a certain despair throughout the track, heightened by the painful, slowish tempos that get followed by more panicky speeds. Think a miserable and extremely agitated personalty. It’s not happy. Intentionally or not, the singer going ‘Urrrrghhh…’ in the second third of the song is pretty funny, though. 

In conclusion, this stuff isn’t bad. Of course, Helheim have only released cover songs, here, so they can’t really be complimented for their creativity, and personally I think the Emperor version is more powerful, atmospheric, exciting AND better produced, but if you’re looking for a more do-it-yourself sound, you may be in for a bit of a treat. Taake’s stuff is obviously more admirable, as they wrote it themselves, but don’t expect the reinvention of the wheel. You could say they don’t really add any more features to the wheel at all. Well, maybe a nice, well-made metal hubcap. Is this stuff recommended? I don’t suggest you get it ASAP and cancel all your other plans, at best you’ll just be reasonably entertained. 

Review by Simon Wiedemann