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Album Reviews : Kvelertak – Kvelertak

By on November 25, 2010

For the last decade or so, arguments have raged across countless Metal forums about what genre’s bands fall in, as if the fate of the world depended on it. But then once in a while an artist comes along that is just too tricky to fit into a pigeon hole; ladies and gentleman please welcome Norway’s Kvelertak. Like the bastard offspring of Satyricon, Motorhead and Gallows, Kvelertak’s sound is probably described as death n’ roll mixed with dirty hardcore and a big slab of necro black metal. With the striking cover art supplied by John Dyer Baizley, frontman of Baroness, and Converge’s guitarist/producer Kurt Ballou behind the mixing desk, the Norwegian’s have attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in the music underground with their highly eclectic sound.

The opening trio of songs “Ulvetid”, “Mjød” and “Fossegrim” nicely sums up the whole album straight off the bat, with the tunes laced with adrenaline and a party-hard atmosphere – basically the whole self-titled album screams out “play me fucking loud!!” from the start to finish. With frontman Erland Hjelvik shrieking in the band’s native language, the chaotic vocals add another unique aspect to the band, but it’s a tad hard to understand why the six-piece require a trio of guitarists. Kvelertak is a schizophrenic beast , with songs moving from harsh vocals and blast beats before moving into rock n’ roll guitar solos and punk-rock riffing. Some may find the bands hard-to-classify sound a tad off putting on paper, but it’s best to just to appreciate the tunes like “Nekroskop” and “Offenatt” for what they are; fun, raucous and tailor made for partying.

While there are obvious traces of Metal in the band’s output, it’d be a fair statement that Kvelertak’s debut has a lot more to do with punk and dirty rock n’ roll – not that it’s a bad thing at all, as it’s pretty easy see to the eponymous record transcending into different music scenes, with metalheads, punks, rockers and hardcore kids all being in the band’s target market.

It’d be safe to say that there are plenty of band’s who have tried to fuse variety of musical genres together and have failed miserably, but Kvelertak have landed on a complete winner here, as their debut record is massively fun and rehab-inducingly addictive. 8.5/10

Band: Kvelertak
Album: Kvelertak
Year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal/Punk Rock
Origin: Norway
Label: Indie Recordings/Riot

Track listing:

1. Ulvetid
2. Mjød
3. Fossegrim
4. Blodtørst
5. Offernatt
6. Sjøhyenar (Havets herrer)
7. Sultans of Satan
8. Nekroskop
9. Liktorn
10. Ordsmedar av rang
11. Utrydd dei svake


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.