VREID – Pitch Black Brigade

VREID - Pitch Black Brigade


Tuba Records
Release date: April 27, 2006

User Review
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Norwegian quartet Vreid was founded by the remains of the legendary Windir following Terje “Valfar” Bakken, Windir’s mainman, tragic death in 2004. They are now back with the follow-up to 2004’s critically acclaimed debut Kraft. The band has taken with them some of Windir’s Black Metal (BM) elements, mixing this old-school BM approach with strong Rock ‘n’ Roll influences, making for a groovy and entertaining mix. “Raw, pounding, and atmospheric Black & Roll” is the promo sheet’s description of the band’s music, and it is a very suitable one indeed. The Black Metal elements are toned down since the debut, though. This has not affected the quality of the goods to any considerable extent, though, as this is another solid offering from the Norsemen. Some tunes are a bit on the anonymous side, but overall this is an enjoyable release.

“Då Draumen Rakna” opens the album, and this is a prime example of the band’s slightly new approach. The riffs are groovy and dirty, while at the same time hard and cold, maintaining the dark atmosphere the band(s) are known for both past and present. The Norwegian language suits this track very well, and overall it is the tracks sung in Norwegian that seem to best channel the band’s dark message.

“Left to Hate” – with its Motörhead-influenced riff – and the very groovy “Pitch Black” both come across as very good tracks. “The Red Smell” becomes a bit boring, however, with the repetition of its overly simple clean guitar part, and the 2-minute keyboard intro to “Hengebjørki” could also have been skipped. The rest of this 9-minute track ranks among the album’s highlights, making it frustrating to have to go through the keyboard intro every time.

“Our Battle” and “Hang’em All” are two solid tracks, especially the latter with its very catchy riff, and the atmospheric “Eit Kapittel For Seg Sjøl” is a worthy closing track, featuring a cool bass line and effective, layered guitars. Again, though, the band insists on including one of those very irritating keyboards in the middle, which sounds nothing but dull and cheap and stops the track from “flowing” naturally.

Still, though, this is a very listenable release. The band mixes its past with the best from Darkthrone as well as Motörhead, and are very close to creating a sound of their own on the overly crowded Dark/Extreme Metal scene of the 21st century. That alone is pretty spectacular.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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