As the sound of strings coupled with grim electric guitar chords fade in, the album is inviting you into its depths. Then suddenly the album punches you in the face with the first kick ass riff of many. “Welcome Farewell” is the 6th album of Norwegian metal masterminds Vreid, and it is just as solid as every other one of their releases. Vried is a band who has never let me down, and they continue to progress and impress with every record. “Welcome Farewell” is another bold and correct step in the hopefully long journey of Vreid.
As stated, the first track “The Ramble” is so great, kicking off the album in style! “Way of the Serpent” is the next track and it is more on the grim side of things. It definitely captures the venomous quality that any song regarding serpent imagery should contain. “The Devils Hand” is black and roll gold. It starts with a simple power chord riff, but really shows off the excellent guitar tone they achieved with this album (I am pretty positive they use ENGL amps). The rest of the track continues the tradition of catchy rocking riffs, with an excellent solo section in the middle. Next comes the title track “Welcome Farewell.” It starts with a very epic intro, containing some nice reverb drenched arpeggios (not all arpeggios must be swept!), and the rest of the song is very heavy and the lyrics are really cool (I won’t’ be posting my own interpretation, try and decipher them for yourself). “The Reap” is the first single off the album, and is quite an excellent choice in my opinion. The intro/chorus riff is really catchy, and again the grim black n roll riffs complement the lyrics perfectly. The bridge section is so epic, containing catchy melancholic leads and excellent drum beats (got love the mid passed double ride section).
The second half of the album is just as strong as the first, and never lets up the constant onslaught of brutal riffs, varied drumming (that actually goes with the songwriting), wonderfully epic leads, excellent vocals, and of course the beautifully written lyrics, which I consider steps above most other bands. My personal favorite of the last five tracks are “Sights of Old” and “Black Waves.” The album closes with “Fossil” and upon completion, you will probably start the album over again. So good.
I feel that the music, lyrics, and artwork all complement each other so well, and this whole album is such a complete and awesome package. Nothing feels thrown together, and it really is a musical journey. More musicians should strive to create such well put together pieces of art. With all elements considered, I truly think this is the best album of 2013.
Album: Welcome Farewell
Released: Feb 22nd, 2013
Label: Indie Recordings
Score: 9/9 Hammers