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I Krig

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Album Review

Vreid's first two albums, Kraft and Pitch Black Brigade, made it crystal clear that Vreid had no intention of being a carbon copy of Windir despite the fact that Vreid included three ex-members of Windir: lead singer/guitarist Sture Dingsøyr, bassist Hvàll (Jarle Kvåle), and drummer Steingrim (Jørn Holen). In contrast to the elaborate, symphonic black metal that Windir provided, Kraft and Pitch Black Brigade thrived on rawness and were gritty, thrashy, punk-minded throwback to the pioneering black metal bands of the late '80s and early '90s. But Vreid's third album, I Krig, is a definite departure from Kraft and Pitch Black Brigade — not only because all of the lyrics are in Norwegian this time (English lyrics are excluded), but also, because I Krig brings Vreid somewhat closer to Windir without actually emulating Windir. While I Krig isn't symphonic black metal in the way that Windir's albums were, this 2006/2007 recording is decidedly more musical than either Kraft or Pitch Black Brigade. I Krig falls short of the lushness of symphonic black metal (there aren't a lot of clean vocals to go along with Sture's black metal rasp), but the 45-minute disc brings Vreid into the folk-metal realm and does so with compelling results. Traditional Scandinavian folk is a strong influence, and this is an album that — for all its blistering, in-your-face intensity — has a real sense of craftsmanship. If Sture, Hvàll, Steingrim, and lead guitarist Ese (the only Vreid member who wasn't in Windir) set out to make an album that gave Vreid a more melodic identity without sounding very much like the melodic Windir, they accomplished their goal. Creatively, I Krig is an impressive step forward for this Norwegian combo.


Formed: 2004

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Norwegian black metal named Vreid ("wrath," in their native tongue) emerged out of the embers of the critically acclaimed Windir, after that group's leader and chief songwriter, Terje "Valfar" Bakken, perished in a snowstorm while hiking across the remote countryside of his native Sogndal. Unwilling to appropriate the Windir name without their fallen comrade (and rightly so), or even continue along that group's folk-inspired black metal trail themselves, its surviving musicians, Sture Dingsøyr...
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I Krig, Vreid
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