Vreid – Welcome Farewell (Indie Recordings)

Wednesday, 24th April 2013
Rating: 8/10

Vreid really rocked, thrashed, and everything else’d on 2011’s V. Excuse the cliché, but it was the album they were always threatening to make, with Milorg serving as the breeding ground for the band’s festering Norwegian-on-thrash riffs. Indeed V was the glorious union of pensive thrash with crisp, snow-flaked melodies, all done without a trace of atmospheric detours, the kind that would set these lands into symphonic territory. There’s still wisely none of that on their sixth album Welcome Farewell, where the biting Scandinavian thrash black attack is still in top form.

The black metal connotations will still lead plenty astray. It might peak out during the rampaging “Way of the Serpent,” but then again, can anyone see Immortal or Emperor getting this down and dirty? Probably not. Instead, the guitar team of Sture and Storm have their way with quick melodies (“The Devil’s Hand”), old-school tenacity (“The Reap”) and haunting outtakes (“Black Waves”). It all congeals rather nicely; these songs are mostly razor-sharp, the feverish rasp of Sture leading the way down what is no doubt, highly-tread, but treacherous territory.

Staying the course of V was a wise move on Vreid’s part, for an album like Welcome Farewell can easily pad their live repertoire. In fact, the live arena is where Vreid is probably at their best, for the rawness, engaging cadence of their songs is almost too irresistible at times. Very cool to see a band hit their stride like this; Welcome Farewell oozes Norwegian charisma.