Friday, September 07, 2012

Taak: Rist viletsuse teel (2012)

Where Is Estonia?

Taak is a doom band out of Estonia, who have apparently been laying down riffs for more than two decades under a few different names. Like most Americans, I could not point to Estonia on a map. I would kind of vaguely gesture somewhere toward eastern Europe. You might try to be helpful, and say, “It’s by Latvia.” That doesn’t really help. Hmmm. Wikipedia is showing me a location further north than I would have guessed. Practically next-door to Finland, which explains all the crazy markings they put on their letters. I guess that also explains the badass doom metal.

My stereotypical cultural ignorance aside, I could definitely point to plenty of bands that sound like the music on Taak’s third full-length, Rist viletsuse teel. It begins on some upbeat heavy/doom metal reminiscent of Grand Magus’s recent output. That vibe is repeated several times throughout the record, but you can also hear bits and pieces of Candlemass and Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath. The only thing that sets them apart from those better-known influences is the synthesizer, which usually sticks to electric organ mode but also sounds like theremin or other instruments at different times.

So you get the drift, right? Non-specific traditional doom metal with keyboards. You’ve heard the style before, but is it any good? Absolutely.

At their best, the vocalist’s strong baritone is delivered with enthusiasm. Even if you don’t understand his Estonian lyrics, you want to shout along in whole-hearted agreement to his extremely catchy choruses. Everything else rocks exactly the way it should, so be careful not to spill your Vana Tallinn while banging your head. The riffs are memorable, and often the keyboard will add some welcome melody as well (as on the Candlemass-esque “Tere tulemast vanglass”). Even a couple guitar solos stand out. There are a few tracks that aren’t great, but ideally you should be getting drunk while listening to it, so that shouldn’t matter.

The production is praiseworthy as well, capturing every instrument, giving it the proper place in the mix, and serving it all up at an appropriate volume that doesn’t crackle your speakers or force you to turn the volume up.

This is surprisingly good, headbanging, shout-along doom. Now if I could only remember where Estonia is on a map . . . .

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Rist viletsuse teel on Nailboard

This review was originally written for

1 comment:

  1. Yay, now I feel smart. I actually do know where Estonia is, but only because Paul Keres was from there.

    And I like what I'm hearing from these guys.