Kvelertak means Stranglehold in Norwegian and that’s just what they have on me at the moment. I’m a new music junkie and will check out just about anything if the suggestion comes from a trusted source. Saw these guys mentioned on Ye Olde Facebooke yesterday by the good folks at The End and went a listenin’. The brief description said they mixed Punk with Metal and my first thought was that it did indeed sound like Gallows singer Frank Carter fronting a band like Kylesa.
There’s a little bit of everything in the first track…a heavy groove, hardcore mob vocals, black metal screaming and guitars, Norwegian lyrics, but even with all of that going on you can still tap your foot to it. Track two leads off with a Sham 69 type intro before locking into a classic Death n Roll cadence. But what I like about these guys is their ability to throw you off with an unexpected break like the two second solo guitar at 1:28. It’s just enough time to catch your breath or pause with your foot above the ground before stomping the next downbeat. ‘Fossegrim’ has an equally cool prog break at 1:22 and some straight up old-time rock n roll guitar soloing. This is a really fun record.
There are cool melodies all over the place and the way the songs are arranged allow each one to shine in a different way. Some are rhythm based deep pocket chugs and others are just pretty (yeah I said pretty) guitar lines. Peeking out now and then you’ll hear an acoustic guitar or a piano exposed by peeling back the crushing wall of sound. The next time you listen to that track you’ll find yourself trying to dig the subtle parts out from under the din.
About halfway through the album you’ll convince yourself that they’re singing in English…either that or suddenly you understand Norwegian. Everything flows so easily it tricks you into thinking you can understand what’s going on. But if pressed to explain you’ll just stutter like an idiot and say, ‘OK I have no idea what they’re saying but I LOVE it!’
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the gorgeous John Baizley (Baroness) cover art, so there I mentioned it.
The US release contains six bonus tracks not available on the original European release.
You can stream the whole album here:
11. Utrydd Dei Svake
12. Fossegrim (BBC Sessions 2010)
13. Sjohyenar (Havets Herrer)(BBC Sessions 2010)
14. Blodtorst (BBC Sessions 2010)
15. Mjod (BBC Sessions 2010)
16. Ordsmedar av Rang (Demo)
17. Utrydd dei Svake (Demo)