In metal in particular, there are two types of bands: bands that write the same album/variation on the same album and then a band that bucks the trend. That’s not to say that either of these is better than the others – Korn technically bucked the trend and I think they blow. All of this brings me to Kvelertak – I’d argue they fit in both camps. Here’s a band that is not only writing something totally different, but are continuing to write in that vein – for fuck’s sake, their new record is called Meir, and that’s Norwegian for “more”. But is it also Norwegian for awesome?
Well, the album certainly delivers more. Everything you remember from Meir is here. Does it sound like a party? Check. Does it still mix in several different types of metal to make something totally unique? Check. Does it sound awesome? Well most of it does. There is definitely some variety here, with songs like Manelyst and Apenbaring standing up to the first album and then in some way surpassing it. Manelyst is both complex and vintage Kvelertak – something to mosh to and something to enjoy at home. That guitar solo near the end and the dual guitar wailing is just righteous.
I think my biggest problem is that it tries too hard in some places. For example, lead single Bruane Brenn is just too…much. It meanders more than a Rush song into places that don’t make sense. Like, parts of the song are great. But around 2:45 in, it goes to some classic rock style solos. And it’s not that they sound bad, per se – it’s that they sound out of place. Furthermore, many of the songs do blend in with one another – some of them are just plain mediocre.
It’s not that this is a bad record – not by any means – as much as it just sounds rushed. Songs were cobbled together at the last minute and some of them worked and some of them did not. I truly believe they can do better, although I’m sure many bands would fucking kill to have a record like this in their catalog. I’m personally chalking this up to sophomore blues. I do recommend giving it a listen, but I imagine their next record to be better.
We spoke with Erlend Hjelvik, the vocalist of Kvelertak, about the new record, their absolutely quick rise to where they’re at in the metal world, and their first headline tour in the US. The interview is below.
2. Spring Fra Livet
4. Bruane Brenn
5. Evig Vandrar
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/etc.
Record Label: Roadrunner Records
Playing Time: 49 Minutes