Kvist - For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike
Avantgarde Music
Black Metal
6 songs (37:50)
Release year: 1996
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Tony

One album. Just one album that changed the face of Black Metal forever. A revolutionary record barely passable as a full length. Six tracks of outstanding music which truly shakes the genre to its core. A new world of Black Metal was built with this, For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike , the first and final album of mysterious Norwegian's Kvist

During my second week of reviews, I received a typically cold reception for my review of Drawing Down the Moon by Finnish legends Beherit. Forumites called it a "shit review" and lambasted me with rudeness. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I had a solid rationale behind the score given. While Drawing Down the Moon played great influence in forming the now plentiful Finnish scene, musically, it wasn't that thrilling for me. Many readers were claiming I should have slotted Drawing Down the Moon in the Classics due to sheer influence, and not so much the musical prowess. I disagree with that notion, but in respect for both viewpoints, I have decided to review this, the one and only classic from Kvist

Hailing from Honefoss, Norway, Kvist, meaning "twig" in Norwegian, ushered in the 2nd Wave of Black Metal, and subsequently brought Melodic Black Metal to the forefront alongside bands like Dissection. For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike is a short album, but it combines everything required to establish a Black Metal Classic: Invention, individuality, talent, production, and songwriting. Kvist have songs that aren't preposterously long, but establish a lifetime of quality listenability.

Each song has its own element and drive yet they all stick to a blueprint. This isn't an album with a billion blast beats and it certainly isn't all slower like Khold or Beherit, there is a lot to this album to analyze and break down, and it's going to be truly difficult to efficiently communicate each idea to the readers, without leaving a detail out, or mistaking in my linguistic delivery.

The album starts off with Ars Manifesti . This is one of the finest songs and is a bonafide proclamation of the many talents of Kvist. the guitar sound isn't the usual razor sharp, wall of sound that one would expect from a 2nd Wave Black Metal album. Instead, the guitars are a warm, earthy, organic sound. The drums on Ars Manifesti and the entirety of the album, are a true highlight. They are more progressive, with beats that provide more than just blasts and double bass. The fills are outstanding and precise, making the drums a wholly fantastic source of inspiration to craft riffs and lyrical processes around. The second song, Forbannet Vaere Jorden Jeg Gar starts off with some standard blast beats which had me thinking filler on first listen, but the song quickly changes into a rhythmic and moving mid paced opus which truly highlights every instrument. The keyboards are a necessity to the success of this song. A short bridge enters the piece with a bass lick (yes the bass is very audible throughout the album. And it works) followed by some skillful progressive drumming. The drummer here has great endurance to work the double bass pedals so well on this song and the rest of this album. There are very frequent double bass passages that remind me of some of the portions in Emperor songs; those of course, played expertly by Trym Torson.

Stupet is a much more melodic and atmospheric song, with violins adding to the overall darkness of the album. The keyboards, and some interesting effects added to some guitar leads, along with long lengths of simple riffs and emphasis on the natural sound of the song, make this one a relaxing, heavy, and masterful melodic song. Tracks 2 and 3 did wonders in influencing later Melodic Death Metal. Stupet especially exhibits a very melodic conclusion to it.

Svartedal is next, and has a really great groovy element to it that makes it a legitimate headbanging song. Once again, this song displays multi-faceted faces to it, having guitar interludes, melodic portions with sweeping keyboards, and some heavier portions including the ever present double bass rolling. Svartedal is one of the shortest if not the shortest tracks on the album, but is just as efficient as the longer songs in communicating the diverse and complex sound of Kvist. Next up is the best song on the album, and one of the finest to ever grace Black Metal: Min Lekam Er Meg Blott En Byrd. This expertly crafted song exhibits blast beats and riffs that would soon after become the trademark style of so many Black Metal bands in Norway and worldwide. This song is the most akin to later 2nd Wave bands. Clocking in at a second under 10 minutes, it's the longest and most powerful song of the album, and turns this cd from a top notch influence, to a masterpiece and an evident shaper of modern Black Metal. The drumming here is perfect, with every little fill and strike of the snare coming in at the right times. There is enough simplicity to the beats to make it sound like Black Metal, but there are plenty of fills and trickery to excite my percussion minded ears. With the slight bridges, mid paced powerful riffs, and the sensational drums, it's pretty damn clear that this song made a massive impact in what would later be the 2nd Wave sound.

However, Kvist are so much more dynamic than most of the subsequent Black Metal to follow. The lack of keyboards in most bands and the lack of variant songwriting hurts some of the later efforts (especially in bands from the Finnish scene).

Finally ending in Vettenetter, a much more direct, blast beat heavy song, Kvist exit the album, and their careers, leaving a masterpiece to behold with wonder.

For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike is an extremely heavy and melodic album that leaves more to the mind than most music out there. It is a contemplative, thoughtful work that takes just as much listening as headbanging to enjoy. There is something in Kvist for every fan of Black Metal, but approach with an open mind, and some prepared ears. Kvist changed the world of Black Metal, and did so with efficacy and talent that has rarely been equaled to this day.

Killing Songs :
Tony quoted CLASSIC
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