Vreid - Welcome Farewell (Indie Recordings)

Let Vreid tempt you with a release that evokes rock, heavy metal and Norwegian black metal to deliver a heavy forty-two minutes of pleasingly dark Black'n roll.
Release Date: 
26 Feb 2013 (All day)

A heavy slathering of Black'n Roll, Vreid's latest offering Welcome Farewell rolls in as a slow fog over the aural landscape, churning with the musical elegance of their last albums but attacking with the potency of their earliest releases. With Kraft and I Krig amongst my favourite albums, I was cautious approaching Welcome Farewell, unsure what the teasing studio diaries from the Norwegian black metallers would finally deliver.


Formed out of the ashes of Windir, following the death of Valfar, Vreid have forged a reputation for merging 70s rock and roll rhythms, with classic 80s metal and the soul of Norwegian black metal. With their sixth full-length studio album, Vreid have once again shown themselves masters of their art. The creative drive behind Vreid, Hváll has also produced and mixed the album, giving the band a control over the final sound which leaves Welcome Farewell resonating in your mind long after it finishes.


Ramble stumbles in as a haunting dance dragging you into a macabre waltz, before flinging you into blackened rock riffs and back out again. Way of the Serpent recoils and strikes with a sinewy flow of riffs, underset by the rough yet clearly intelligible vocals of Sture. Not a band to deliver a single tempo song, the bridge is dark and stalking against the almost delicate guitar solo. The Devil's Hand chugs in with a distinctly blackened rockabilly feel to get you air-drumming, as upbeat as a satanically titled tale can be. Breaking out with room for a beautiful classically heavy metal styled solo, this song tracks from slow to mid to fast paced without losing itself.


The title track, Welcome Farewell, announces itself with melodic guitar arpeggios. A well of heavy blackened riffs overlaid with rock'n'roll drums form the layers of sound for the lyrics to sit upon. An interlude takes a harmonic break towards the end of the song before coming back in like storm clouds sweeping across empty fields.


For me, the song that makes Welcome Farewell so memorable is The Reap. It is so classically Vreid, but fresh in a way that made me hit the repeat button several times. Walking riffs journey over the simple soundscapes of Vreid, managing to encapsulate the massive sound of black metal while retaining the clarity and feet grabbing catchiness of rock’n’roll.


Minor chords strummed on an acoustic guitar tease in Sights of Old, before flinging you into a fast-paced assault of melodically atonal shadow and light. Almost punk rock for the briefest of moments, evoking progressive metal another passage later, this song scatters itself over genres but remains cohesive. Black Waves gives yet another flavour to this release, with a beginning tainted with the essence of Bay Area Thrash. The spoken vocals on this song are clean and deep, setting a bass edge to the lurking steady thrash. At the Brook provides a finality to the album, showcasing the songwriting and technical abilities of these Norwegians while still delivering the Black’n roll feel that is soaked throughout this album.


If you’re looking for something dark, heavy and rocking to welcome in the Australian autumn, or scent the end of the Northern Hemisphere winter, Welcome Farewell has the right balance of rhythmic Black riffs, melodic solos and catchy drums.


Welcome Farewell is out now from Indie Recordings.