Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Kvelertak - Kvelertak

I'll level with you, the main reason I was attracted to this release was for the psychedelic album art featuring a betentacled owl embracing two raven-haired nymphs, while trying to beat you in a stare-off. You don't see this kind of stuff every day, but honestly it's kind of beautiful.

Kvelertak are a hardcore metal band from Norway. Formed by a group of friends in 2007 , they made a name for themselves playing a series of frenetic, high energy live shows, the highlight of which was the 2009 Roskilde festival. Their brand of heavy yet melodic punk-metal won them a dedicated fanbase in their native Norway, and an album deal with Indie Recordings was their reward.

High Points

Kvelertak's self titled debut is an extremely well executed example of the hardcore genre. Perhaps not a natural choice for me, but I can appreciate it when it's done this well. Track three 'Fossegrim' is a highlight, for all it's guitar shredding heaviness, and Erlend Hjelvik's trademark growl, it isn't too cool to break down in to a funky dual-guitar groove midway.

'Sultans of Swing' is as catchy as Kvelertak get. Here their three guitar onslaught is toned down slightly to allow the vocals to take precedence, there's even a chorus that you can sing, rather than shout, along to. While at the other end of the scale 'Blodtørst' is about as hard and fast and brutal as it comes.

The Verdict

Kvelertak might be reaching a pretty small audience right now but they are probably as good as anyone else out there at what they do. This is a quality album, and with a bit more money and hype behind them they could easily be about to hit the big time with this release.

Final Score: 74%

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