Vreid’s inception was one borne of pain, the band having formed from the remains of the mighty Windir after the untimely and deeply saddening death of their vocalist Valfar from hypothermia in January 2004, and their moving, mid-paced and extremely melodic take on the black metal blueprint is one that is both determined and necessary.
Welcome, Farewell continues in the vein of 2011’s V in its sharply constructed songs and its emphasis on harmonic moments of strength and the devastating truth of war. Beginning with the electronically weighted The Ramble, an introductory gloom is cast over proceedings with a suitably morose atmosphere of tension before giving way to the adrenaline fuelled structures Vreid do so well in the fierce tones of Way Of The Serpent.
It fires on all available cylinders with weighty riffs and growls of intense resolution from frontman Sture Dingsøyr before leading into the colossal The Devils Hand and the magnificent title track, which is comprised of doomed-out slower sections interspersed around faster-paced passages that allow Vreid to show off a little bit whilst maintaining ability to, y’know, actually write a song.
One of Vreid’s most exciting strong points is their storytelling and as such Welcome, Farewell is an affecting and desolate tale with soaring guitar lines and words entrenched in conflict. The struggle is apparent and Vreid will conquer.