VREID — Welcome Farewell (review)

VREID — Welcome Farewell album cover Album · 2013 · Melodic Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
adg211288
Welcome Farewell is the sixth full-length album by Norwegian black metal act Vreid. It was released in 2013. Despite the album being my own personal introduction to their music I’m not sure that Vreid are a band that needs introduction to the metal fanbase in general, as since their 2004 debut they’ve become quite the powerhouse on the metal scene, putting out an album roughly every two years. They also formed out of the ashes of Windir after the untimely death of Windir frontman Valfar in 2004 from hypothermia.

Vreid’s music is black metal but a style of black metal that is very far removed from what their countrymen started it as in the nineties. Although melodic black metal is the term that is put around the most for bands like Vreid I’d also be inclined to consider them the black metal equivalent of a death ‘n’ roll band; black ‘n’ roll. Melodic black metal is of course accurate, but there’s a certain rocking groove to the music on Welcome Farewell that makes the black ‘n’ roll tag feel appropriate to me.

Onto the finer details; Welcome Farewell is a very clearly produced album for any kind of black metal. Very crisp and clear, which is a feeling enhanced by the vocals of Sture Dingsøyr, who has a very easy to understand growl, further giving the album a polished sort of sound. The tone of his growl is black metal to a tee and the music itself doesn’t lack for the sort of atmospheric vibe you’d both expect and want to hear from a black metal record, but it does wholly lack any sort of the evil vibe that characterised the black metal genre at the beginning.

What does this mean? Well, purists will of course hate it, but for those of us who are prepared to allow the genre to evolve and deviate from the form of Mayhem or Darkthrone we’re left with a pretty good album. I wouldn’t say that Welcome Farewell is exceptionally remarkable but Vreid certainly proves their musicianship on it, and the resulting bunch of eight tracks is a solid bunch of about equal quality. The album does pick up around the middle with the title track through to Sights of Old and then again for the closing At the Brook, which I’d even consider to be a bit progressive, as well as my personal favourite from the release.

Welcome Farewell has proven to be a good introduction to the music of Vreid for me. Because of my extreme lack of familiarity with their past work I obviously have nothing to go on to say how it compares. But it’s a solid and enjoyable modern take on black metal and I think a great album tier rating is easily deserved.

81/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org/vreid-welcome-farewell-t2836.html))
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