Taake is a Norwegian black metal band whose name is derived from the Norwegian word "tåke" which means fog.
In 1993, Ørjan Stedjeberg, now known as Ulvhedin Høst (often spelt Hoest), formed the first version of the band Taake under the name Thule, together with Svartulv, who was only twelve years old at the time. Thule released two demos; "Der Vinterstormene Raste" 1993 and "Omfavnet Av Svarte Vinger (Embraced By Black Wings)" 1994. Somewhere between the release of the latter demo and "Manndaudsvinter" in 1995, the band transformed from Thule to Taake which was more representative of the band and the area where Høst was from; the mountains of Bergen, Norway. Shortly after this release a 7" EP was released in 1996 called "Koldbrann i Jesu Marg," which would be the last demo recording that Taake would release.
The first full-length album "Nattestid Ser Porten Vid (Night Sees the Wide Gate)" was released by Wounded Love Records in 1999. The album was written entirely by Høst but he brought in a session musician, Tundra to perform bass and drums. It was recorded throughout 1997 and 1998 at Grieghallen. "Nattestid..." is part I of a trilogy, all the writing on the CD and lyrics in the booklet are written in runes. All of the lyics are sung in Norwegian. This album is now considered a classic.
The second installment of the trilogy "Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik (Heaven Cries over Bjoergvin)" was released in 2002. Again a seven song concept album, the theme for "...Bjoergvin..." is death (Bjoergvin is the former name of Bergen). On this record, Hoest surrounded himself with a band for the record: C. Corax on Guitars, Keridwen on bass, and Mutt (Gaahlskagg, Trelldom, Sigfader) on drums.
The final installment of the trilogy was released in 2005 by Dark Essence Records. Entitled "Hordalands Doedskvad (Hordaland's Deathchant)" it adhered to the 7 song format (representing the 7 mountains surrounding Bergen) of the first two records, but showed a change in style (Hordaland is a county in Norway). While the first two records in the trilogy were clearly 80s metal influenced, this album was performed in a more traditional black metal style which was reminiscent of Enslaved, Bathory and early Mayhem. "...Doedskvad" also differs from the other in that it features a number of guest musicians. These include the infamous Nattefrost from Carpathian Forest, Taipan (Orcustus), and Nordavind (ex-Carpathian Forest), as well as others. Following this release of this record Taake has had some minor releases, and played a few festivals (most notably Hole In The Sky Festival in Norway, with Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved on guitars), but according to the official website they are "on ice for awhile."
Preceding the still 2006/2007 European tour, Taake revamped their official homepage, moving away from the defunct site. Following the infamous show in Essen, the band have been removed from several festivals and have taken much fire. It wouldn't be acquainted with publicity if it was happened thereby - Lava who has been bassist since 2002 left the band. The new website has also served as a place for Blabbermouth to get all the latest inflammatory statements from Hoest.
On September 8, 2008, Hoest announced on his homepage that he had recorded the fourth Taake album, simply titled "Taake". The album was recorded for Hoest's own label Svartekunst Produksjoner and is distributed via Dark Essence Records.
In March 2007, during a concert at Essen in Germany, Høst appeared on stage with a swastika painted on his chest. Allegedly, he also spat and threw beer bottles at the audience. This resulted in strong protests from both the audience and the press who were covering the concert. In Germany, the use of the swastika is strictly forbidden by law, and the remainder of Taake's German concerts were cancelled. It is widely believed that this incident was purely for shock value.
In 2006 the activity in Taake came to a meantime halt, since Høst was imprisoned for a violent assault. On July 30, 2007 the Taake website announced that the plans for the coming world wide tour was put on hold "due to a certain band member's imprisonment". On September 20, 2007 Hoest announced on the band's website that he had been recently released from his 3rd incarceration for violence.