Vreid – Sólverv (Indie Recordings)

Genre: Black Metal

Fiercer, faster, harsher, stronger – not the chorus of a new Kanye West tune, but an accurate description of Vreid’s seventh album. The Norwegians have gone back to their blackened roots on Sólverv, an opus which lashes out with barbed tremolo picking and vicious blastbeats, and sounds almost primal compared to its polished predecessor, Welcome Farewell.

This is a welcome change in direction, it has to be said: Vreid have been one of Norwegian BM’s most consistent and accessible acts since emerging from the ashes of Windir, but they’ve rarely served up anything as ferocious as this record’s title track, or the heroically old school Storm frå Vest.

That said, the quartet haven’t abandoned the icy melodies which have served them so well over the last 11 years, as tracks like the stunning Ætti sitt Fjedl prove.

There’s an epic feel to much of Sólverv and it’s testimony to Vreid’s songwriting (and the skills of guitarists Sture and Strom) that despite the album’s raw outward exterior, you can peel back the layers to reveal a work of great depth.

A surprise package for sure, Sólverv will surely have BM diehards salivating all over their corpse paint…