hail from Sogndal, Norway
's the same town where the legendary band, Windir
, sprang up to prominence. As a matter of fact Vreid
are a spin-off band from Windir
. Classified as a Black Metal
have separated themselves from the usual harbingers of woe, by dwelling on themes concerning the dark histories of man. With a particular focus on some of the ugliest old stories that can be found in their region.
The saga of Vreid
runs something like this. In the mid-1990's, a local musician nicknamed Valfar, was having success with his one man band, Windir
. After the turn of the millennium, his songwriting became so complex, that he decided to expand his band to maintain the integrity of the musical quality. So he turned to some neighborhood musicians, that he had known since early childhood, they had formed a band named Ulcus
. So Windir
merged with Ulcus
and retained the name of Windir
, which became a 6 piece band. They were very successful until the end, which came with the tragic death of Valfar, in early 2004. He died of exposure while mountain hiking in an unexpected blizzard.
So half of the members of Windir
went on to form Vreid
, which means wrath in Norwegian. It was comprised of ex-Windir
band members; Sture (vocals, guitar), Steingrim (drums), and Hvall (bass). Ese was hired as a second guitarist, he was a co-producer for the Windir
album Likferd, and a personal friend of the band. After 5 years with the band, Ese quit due to personal reasons. So now they've recently added Strom, who was one of the original guitarists with both Windir
. So now Vreid
has all of the members of Windir
, except for Valfar, and Righ (the keyboardist).
This 5th album was produced by Hvall (bassist/songwriter) in his own studio, called 1184. For the most part, the music is very heavy, with epic Nordic rhythms that are sometimes enhanced with synthesizer music playing in the background. This arrangement gives an unmistakeable similarity to the style of Kampfar
. The tempos change frequently between a choppy slow approach and a faster speed with intricate guitar picking. The cartoon like grim voice, coupled with the fast paced, yet technical guitar playing echoes a sound like Immortal
. Then from time to time, their are some operatic choruses, that sound somewhat like earlier Arcturus
8, Welcome To The Asylum uses bizarre shock tactics, with soft ballad spots that turn very ugly with some twisted musical outbursts. It gives a similar effect that is used frequently by Dark Fortress
The technical proficiency of the guitarists seem to have improved a couple of notches on this release. It's probably the result of adding Strom to the line up, since these musicians all have around 20 years of experience. A few of these songs sound repetitive, like different takes of one song idea. Although the music isn't all that original, it is still a solid album. It's as solid as a chunk of concrete containing a variety of aggregate stones.