Taake / Deathcult - Jaertegn
Edged Circle Productions
Black Metal
4 songs (23'28")
Release year: 2020
Reviewed by Alex

Jaertegn may be a short split, but with Taake participation it was worth checking it out and, after several listens through, the new track by Hoest, Slagmark, is worth the price of admission alone. Just like tigers don’t change their stripes Taake is not changing its black metal approach on Slagmark. Without an intro of any sorts Slagmark just plunges into the meat of it. Slagmark is six and a half minutes long, but Hoest managed to pack almost half the album worth of ideas in it. By simple quick count there are at least five different musical patterns in the composition. Most of the time, appropriately, grimness emanates unabated. Sometimes a fluid melodic moment emerges, only to be replaced by more stately posture. The middle is jangly drunk hypnotic stumbling over double bass. When Hoest vocalizes in Slagmark it is his characteristic mysterious hiss. Slagmark can simply be put on repeat and I guarantee you will discover shades in it over and over again.

Taake partners on Jaertegn are Deathcult, a unit just as notorious as Taake itself. Hoest of course participates in Deathcult along with brothers Skagg and Thurzur. Each band contributes one original track and one cover. Deathcult’s Der Wurger is a lot less multifaceted than Slagmark. Whether it blasts or not the track is more aggressive than Slagmark, almost militant in its disposition. This raw, hell-bent, single-focused, triumphant militancy explodes with some melodic riffs after ~ 6” min reaching apotheosis. Multiple, almost choral, vocals, or so I hear them, the voices of young and old, overlap creating polyphony to close.

Taake chose to cover Darkthrone’s Ravnajuv which is probably the best track on Total Death. Almost to contrast with its own variability on Slagmark, Taake showcases Darkthrone singularity on Ravnajuv. The meatiness of the drums is toned down to reflect Darkthrone production values and what is on display is simplicity and primitivism of few, namely two, melodic inflections. The track, just like the original, dissolves into nothingness. Deathcult covers Beherit’s Black Arts, unveiling monumental surging rawness, floating over miasmic pit full of wheezing beasts. The track sounds as intended, with production just as raw and evil but improving on the original.

If you are in the mood for 20+ min of raw old school Norwegian black metal Jaertegn passes the bar, but Slagmark is special.

Killing Songs :
Slagmark
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