Its always a treat when a foreign band comes through America. After nearly two decades of superb black metal, Taake had finally came to The United States for the first time about a year ago. After an issue arose with Taake’s visas and the tour was postponed, fans eagerly awaited for their return. Fast forward to present day with one other US tour under their belt, Taake was back in not only the US, but Florida as well! This time around, Taake’s support came from Wolvhammer and Young and in the Way (only on select dates and I unfortunately did not get to see them). I was able to attend the second date of the tour in Tampa, Florida at The Orpheum. How was it to be a part of history by experiencing Taake’s first tour to hit Florida?
Opening the show was Tampa locals Promethean Horde. Promethan Horde is one of Tampa’s leading black metal groups that have been unleashing hell in the Florida local scene for quite a while (for example my first time seeing them was when they opened up for Cannibal Corpse, Misery Index, and Hour of Penance at The Brass Mug about three or so years ago). They include many other elements including folk/pagan elements and I would even say some moments of their music border blackened death metal. Tonight was no exception to Promethean’s stellar performances as they nailed several songs from “Ashes of the Empyrean” and a couple new songs under a sinister red light. Demonic shrieks, really catchy drum fills, one hell of a bass tone and player, and ominous guitar riffs are definitely something to expect when seeing the horde live. Keep an eye on Promethean Horde as I’m sure they won’t be going anywhere soon (except maybe in a city near you if you know what I mean).
Following Promethean Horde’s performance was none other than Wolvhammer. Wolvhammer took me by quite the surprise as I had listened to them a bit before, but I was not very familiar with their music before the show. To make it short and sweet, I was overly impressed with their set. The five piece has a unique blend of black metal, rock, and more. The aspect that really drew me in though was Wolvhammer’s sludgy grooves that are a punch right in the face. With sludgy guitar and bass tones, a kit that really packs a punch, and intense vocals, I honestly felt demolished after Wolvhammer’s performance. I was left speechless. They are one of the kinds of bands that are THAT much better live. I already want Wolvhammer to come back to Florida and hopefully soon.
After it took a few seconds to rush back into reality from Wolvhammer’s killer performance, it was at last time to witness true Norwegian black metal live (WARNING: there will be several spoiler alerts this paragraph). Fans eagerly anticipated Taake’s appearance as the stage was set. Soon enough, the overhead music stopped and the lights went dark as Taake’s instrumentalists took stage clad in corpsepaint. Energy quickly escalated as “Nordbundet” opening chords rung out under a chilling and icy blue light. Hoest appears on stage and gives it his all during the performance with everything from synchronized kicks into the air to mysterious poses. Taake’s performance was nothing short of what I wanted it to be as they chose to play every song I would have picked to put in their setlist. One of the most impressive moments of the night was at the end of Taake’s set as they actually brought a banjo to perform the famous banjo solo from “Myr”. As if that wasn’t enough reason to be happy, they closed with the eminent opening track from the debut full-length “Nattesid Ser Porten Vid”. After Taake’s departure, fans stuck around in hopes of an encore. Unfortunately, no encore would happen and this would turn out to be the end of black metal for the night.
Overall, this was one hell of a night. I have no idea if Taake will start touring the US more. If they do, I’ll be sure to attend. My only complaint about this show was how short it was (one local band was unable to play) and I wish Young and in the Way had been on the entire tour. Either way, this tour is definitely worth your time and as of writing, there are plenty of dates to still happen. The remaining dates can be seen below so make sure you attend, support the bands, and buy some merch!