Kvelertak - Kvelertak
While Kvelertak shares with their Norwegian black metal compatriots a taste for the dark side and for moody music supporting the deep Nordic growl, they also stand out from them in that they put rocking before image or philosophy. This self-titled debut (actually a reissue of last year's debut, with six new songs, for the US market) is heavy and menacing, but with a hard groove that is sludgy and refreshing. With a three-guitar lineup that work as one for a massive sound as well as interweave for some surprising melody, Kvelertak (Norwegian for "Stranglehold") deliver the overwhelming goods.
Many of these songs have so much energy and intensity that you get the sensation that they are going to come unglued any minute and you are going to fly off with them. That is no more true than on a song like "Offernat," with an intro that features each of the three guitars chipping in before exploding along with vocalist Erlend Hjelvik and all together kicking it with a passion usually reserved for the end of songs, not the very beginning. Hardcore mixes with black metal and occasional stoner riffs, as Kvelertak show a wide range of shops rare for Norse bands. From the overwhelming black power of "Blodtoerst" to the almost boogie-tinged "Havets Herrer," this band impresses while it bludgeons.
Kvelertak have come out of the gate with a dizzying array of loud and heavy weapons and a creative grab bag that can only get more packed with ideas. This is a band that can do anything with the amps set to 10, and the only way they will not have a long career will be through choice or tragedy. They world is theirs.
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