Take five bearded mountain men and give them instruments (and booze, lots and lots of booze) and you will probably get Norway’s Svölk. Self-proclaiming themselves as “Bear metal” they play a mixture of stoner metal with a Norwegian redneck attitude. With their newest album Nights Under the Round Table, Svölk has created a down and dirty album featuring catchy hooks and heavy riffs.
Stoner rock bands like Kyuss play a major role in the sound of Svölk creating this dense guitar sound hypnotising you with its grooves and hooks. Vocalist Knut Erik chooses in Svölk to use a very soulful clean vocals bringing to mind Neil Fallon of Clutch. The rhythm section is a center point as they are the ones crafting the grooves for Svölk. The album starts off with Living By the Sword, a song that starts with dirty guitar riffs and continues with that method all-throughout the song. The third track Painbringer is exactly how it sounds bludgeoning the listening with heavy southern-tinged riffs and an infectious melody. The entire album continues on this trend of monstrous instruments that fit well with their brand of “Bear metal. In many ways you can almost picture a bear charging at it’s prey to this album.
Nights Under the Round Table is a solid release from these Norwegian mountain men and shows that even in a place like Norway, stoner/sludge metal can thrive.
1. Living By The Sword
3. Feed Your Soul
7. Break My Bones
8. To Conquer Death You Only Have To Die
9. This Is Where It Ends