Stridens Hus is the sixth full length album from one man melodic black metal project Taake. Each of his five albums to date has been a great example of melodic, yet heavy black metal, each one a fantastic listen. And the same can be said of Stridens Hus, but more than before, the new album sees Hoest breaking the mould with some really off the wall sections in an album that gets really crazy. All over the place with elements of punk and psychedelia among his trebly black metal sound, Stridens Hus is another great Taake release.
One thing you notice about this album almost from the outset is that it’s just full of riffs. Throughout opener Det Fins En Prins powerful melodies rip their way through in a thick trebly tone against blast beats, one after the next with a good degree of tempo changes and it’s ever interesting. These progressive riffs in different tempos are present throughout the track, and there’s a hint of wah on the guitars at points to add a touch of craziness to what’s a good melodic black metal piece. But from the start of following track Orm, that touch of craziness becomes a massive dose, and the album just goes off the wall. Starting with thrashy black metal riffs and mid paced drums, more progressive sounding riffs come in, each melodic but one following the next in a different tempo. Hoest’s rasps throughout sound really cold, which is a good counterpoint to the psychedelic wah-laced explorations which sound warm and almost upbeat. While that trebly tone keeps the whole thing rooted in a black metal sound, those guitars go all over the place at points, the way that solo shreds all over the fretboard sounds crazed Hoest keeps altering the tempo, going all over the place with no rhyme or reason and it sounds deliciously unhinged.
The array of riffs he wrote for the album is staggering, and some even just get played once before it goes off on another tangent, yet other’s are repeated enough for the songs to come out with a particular coherence. Each song just seems like a mass of melodies that were put together in such a way that they sound strange together – you’re not sure at points if Hoest is all over the place through unfocused songwriting or through progressive genius, but by how great it sounds you can safely assume it’s the latter. Det Fins En Prins is a great psychedelic affair with touches of atmosphere, but Stank has a full on punky black metal aggression that sounds evil – Hoest’s rasps delivered with pure venom. Between slower downbeat melodies and chunky aggressive punky riffs, it just comes off as nasty as hell, and that shredding solo in the middle is great. En Sang Til Sand Om Ildebrann is once again off the wall with the varying array of riffs, while closer Vinger is another punky black metal bruiser.
For all the different riffs and tempos, and touches of psychedelia Stridens Hus remains fully rooted in black metal, just a somewhat experimental and forward thinking one. Between sections of melancholy, atmosphere, warm psychedelia and brutish punk anger it’s all varied in a great black metal release. Recommended.