When Taake finally set US tour dates, the American black metal community let out a huge sigh of relief. Since the band had cancelled two tours prior to the recent tour, US black metallers felt lucky to even have them. I’ve noticed that happens a lot with foreign bands. It can be difficult to plan tours overseas, especially for relatively underground bands. When I saw a Cleveland date listed from the few, I made it a point to be there in hopes of witnessing a rare event in black metal history.

Fittingly, Cleveland saw snowfall on the day of the show. It was as though they brought Scandinavia with them. The streets were slicked with ice and the temperatures were frigid. Blackness fell upon Cleveland as the first acts began to play. The local act, Bulk and Skull, is worth mentioning. Featuring members of Inoculation, Bulk and Skull is an aggressive death/thrash band with blackened elements. The musicianship of the band allowed for technical components to be played in tandem with the thrashier riffs. The band may be young, but they’re definitely not green. They put on a great live show.

Touring with Taake, were Vattnet Viskar, an American raw post black metal band, as well as Young and in the Way, who despite having a super gay, metalcore sounding name, killed their set. A good half the crowd was there to see Young and in the Way and I can see why. Alternating between crust elements and trendy, American raw ambient black/death, similar to Adversarial, Young and in the Way introduced an entirely unique sound. There were even brief interludes of funeral doom in their sound. They would definitely be a tough act to follow, which is probably why it took Taake over an hour to set up after their set.

Thankfully, it was mostly worth the wait. Taake epically open their set with Nordbundet. Hoest’s live persona was fittingly majestic and we saw him lose himself in it often by posing like the photo below. In fact, your band is not kvlt unless your vocalist does this at least once in his set. Better that he does it all the damn time.

taake 5

Unfortunately, the middle of their set was a bit of snooze fest, with the band playing their more black and roll songs like Du villa villa Vestland and Orm. Thankfully, their set progressed in exciting way. Myr was particularly exciting as it featured a perfect execution of the ever popular banjo solo.

With a stripped down, early black metal style appearance, complete with smeared corpse paint and enough leather to attract dairy cows in heat, electrifying theatrics, and an unbelievable level of energy, Taake gave the audience far more than their money’s worth. Epic lighting made Hoest appear larger than life and the rest of the set reflected this uber grim, and untouchable persona.

taake 2

The crowd was ever perceptive forming a literal wall around the stage, completely captivated by the band. Some fans were even so dedicated as to wear corpsepaint to the show. Taake was ever receptive to the crowd and followed up their set with the first three parts of Hordalands Doedskvad and ended their set provocatively, playing their classic, Nattestid ser Porten Vid Part I to everyone’s approval and surprise. Overall, Taake put on a great set and I would urge anyone to catch Hoest in action next time he swings by your town. That is, of course, assuming that you can bear the cold.


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