Thursday, April 25, 2013

Album Review - KVELERTAK

Kvelertak - Meir
Roadrunner, 2013

Forget everything you’ve heard about this Norwegian group being black metal, it’s like calling Skid Row thrash metal. Sure, there’s some elements of black metal in spots, usually just some fast snare drumming, but that’s about it. Kvelertak’s second album owes a lot more to garage punk and hardcore than anything else. “Åpenbaring” is a decent if not somewhat mundane opening for Meir, but things get interesting quickly with “Spring Fra Livet”, a catchy little song with an amazing chorus. “Trepan” is another showcase for the unconventional writing style of Kvelertak; what starts off sounding like black metal suddenly morphs into a cool alternative rock vibe. The silly melody of “Bruane Brenn” doesn’t really work, while “Evig Vandrar” drags until a master guitar riff takes over the second half of the song. “Snilepisk” and “Månelyst” are more straightforward rock, and the sprawling, ambitious “Nekrokosmos” is all over the map. Some Thin LIzzy-style riffs make “Undertro” more interesting than most of the album but this energy can’t be maintained for over six minutes. Interest wanes by this point and the nearly nine minute-long “Tordenbrak” simply flies by before “Kvelertak” brings the album to a stomping close. Meir has some bright moments, but most of the album is too disjointed, confusing, and noisy. Kvelertak is onto a pretty unique sound, however, the lack of great songs ultimately fails to sustain my attention.

Kvelertak performs on Saturday, April 27 at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis with support from Cancer Bats and Black Tusk.

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