Taake's third album, the conclusion of the magnificent trilogy that launched Hoest into the upper echelons of black metal artistry, the band seemed to pull off the impossible, the completely unexpected: after the slightest of stumbles with the sophomore, a move that all too often signals an inevitable spiral into artistic bankruptcy or irrelevance, Taake managed to once again tap into the same icy veins Hoest so skillfully mined with the debut. With the production right on point to capture the music's nuances, Taake once again weaves a tapestry of riffy, powerful distillate of black metal that flows with almost uncanny perfection from one vaguely folky northern melody to the next. Yet again Hoest finds ways to convey the entire spectrum of emotional depths the best black metal bands probe: beauty, wonder, power, pride, despair, romance, hatred, nihilism, longing, solitude, l'appel du vide. Not only are all of these (and more) present here in doses just as concentrated as ever they were on the debut, Hoest once again convincingly quilts together these facets into a cohesive whole where these emotions intermingle and flow seamlessly, so much so that there becomes this indescribable "black metal feeling." It's the sort of stuff that longtime fans of the genre will try to tell you is the reason they prefer the darker stuff to any other flavor of metal (or of music, more broadly, for that matter) yet often struggle to put into words or compare to other sets of feelings they might have. Hell, often enough it's tough to come up with single musical examples of exactly what they're trying to get across when discussing the subject, but just like the debut, Hordalands doedskvad is probably as close to the Platonic form of black metal as might be possible for human beings to craft.