Friday, February 10, 2012
War within Music: Vreid's Milorg Destroys Nazis One by One (2009)
In contrast with conventional black metal, Vreid takes the traditional formula, but enhances it with harmonies, dulcet intros and interludes, and almost folk-like elements in a handful of tracks. In short, Vreid is a melodic black metal band, which makes them additionally accessible to those that haven't had any experience with the subgenre. I reckon they're an excellent place to start if you're just getting into black metal, specifically with Milorg, a record that places melodic black metal into a creative context (instead of the tried and stale), one that will keep you entertained for hours on end. Milorg sets the subgenre's kvlt pretense aside, and lets you know what's real. That's the most endearing aspect of the record, its profound ability to show you the true side of music without a need to be hidden from the public eye or strongly oppose a certain issue. In lieu, Vreid has chosen topics of Norwegian resistance to the Nazis during World War II and similar issues during the war, as well as commonplace lyrical themes like evil, darkness, and the oh-so-icy winter black metallers often find themselves trudging through.
Vreid, in effect, uses their music as a panorama to tell war-time stories. Many of the tracks are unforgiving and cold, a slab of epic poetry that conveys the feeling at the time unusually well. If you're a war buff, this will be your cake. There's just one catch: you must understand Norwegian as a fraction of the tracks are written in the language, the rest in universal English. Whatever the case is, Milorg still portrays the nasty war-time dictatorship Norway found itself up against (the Nazis!) appropriately. World War II was no laughing matter, especially when your country was invaded by the bastards, and Vreid's musical interpretation of the time period's woes are spot on, laced with melodious and bellicose music fit for a solider. Besides that, Milorg's tracks are littered with traces of thrashy and doomier sections, accurately representing the anguish and bitterness likely present as the Nazis permeated Norway's borders. As composers, Vreid is excellent. As artists that paint a vivid, cerebral picture, the band is on a whole 'nother level.
Excluding war-themed lyrics, Vreid isn't that much different than other black metal bands in regard to their doggerel. Be that as it may, the music is where they take a turn down a different path. Imagine the hackneyed forked road where you can chose one of two ways to continue on your journey. One leads to the kvltest, chilliest winter you'll ever experience; the other a fresh, new beginning. Your fate is in your hands. The path you pick determines your future. Milorg is a combination of the old and new worlds, with attention and intensity positioned on the new. It's obvious Vreid opted for the fresh new beginning.