Album Review: Taake/Whoredom Rife - Pakt (Split MLP)

Artist: Taake & Whoredom Rife

Album: Pakt Split EP

Genre: Black Metal

Review by Steve Jenkins

Taake and Whoredom Rife are two of the most important and talented acts in the Norwegian metal scene, both being absolute masters of their craft. So of course it was fantastic news to hear that they were joining forces to create a crushingly heavy new split EP, which comes out March 20th via Terratur Possessions.

Kicking off the split we have Taake with a brand new track called "Ubeseiret" which isn’t without some devilishly playful experimentation, with some infectious groove-orientated guitar work and upbeat drumming. The track has some outstanding melodic riffing that has rock and roll written all over it as Hoest has a special knack for keeping his footing grounded through a massive range of guitar-driven dynamics. Add in some tortured shrieks and guitars that are sinister and dark in tone and what you get is a sound that’s as potent as ever. This is unmistakably Taake through and through and it makes me even more keen to hear a new full-length album hopefully in the near future. The next track see Taake cover a Sisters Of Mercy track titled "Heartland" which is definitely an interesting choice but it works very well. With distorted bass and howling vocals, this song comes across cold and dark, taking a classic song and putting his own twist on it. It's a different side of Taake and this is still second wave black metal worship at its core, but it never limits itself - as Hoest constantly challenges himself instrumentally. Apparently Hoest also plays all instruments on both tracks including the use of 12 string and steel string acoustic guitar for the very first time in Taake’s recorded history, so that in itself is extremely impressive.

Now it's time for some Whoredom Rife, who have definitely set a path for themselves by doing a fantastic job keeping a rather stagnated genre alive. There are vicious riffs and echoed vocals with a cold winter aesthetic, relentless blast beats, and cathartic guitar solos such as those present off on both track “From Nameless Pagan Graves” and "En Lenke Smidd I Blod." While they might not be doing anything considered groundbreaking, one cannot argue with the musical quality, as nearly every riff is headbangable and every drum pattern as ripping and thunderous as the last. Whoredom Rife executes this particular style of black metal extremely well and with slightly more finesse than most others who attempt it.

Overall, this a great little split from two of Norway's most impressive and renowned bands and if you can then you should definitely get your hands on a copy. If you like black metal then you will more than likely enjoy this release. This is a nice little taste tester that leaves me craving some more from both bands, which can only mean they've done well with these songs. My only gripe is that it isn't long enough, but that's just me being greedy.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Pakt (Split MLP) will be released March 20th via Terratur Possessions.

Pre-orders are available here:

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