Sunday, March 6, 2011
Kvelertak - "Kvelertak" (2010) [Indie Recordings/The End Records]
Hailing from Stavanger, Norway, don't expect this to be "just another Norwegian black metal band." No, Kvelertak's lack of fear for experimentation led them to embrace the very core and beginning of the metal genre. Yes, I'm talking late 70s hardcore punk and classic rock.
Everything about this album just screams "fun," from the almost goofy harmonized guitar leads, the stomping hardcore rhythms, gang vocals, to the anthemic choruses. I see myself wearing gigantic sunglasses, riding full-speed, top-down in a convertible (or, arguably, a motorcycle) down some city street with the wind in my hair. Kvelertak's music brings me back to a simpler, more innocent time when everything was "metal" and I had no idea what subgenres and dividing "tags" were in music; everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Though I'm sure many people will immediately write this off as "hipster trash," this album has to be some of the most rocking, no-holds-barred catchy metal I've heard in a long time. Kvelertak does everything we're afraid to do, especially in my personal favorite track, "Sultans of Satan," which breaks down into this skanky, dirty homage to Jimi Hendrix, complete with psychedelic guitar, but don't let this experimentation scare you. Everything is chunky and undeniably metal about this release, arguably much more so than anything that's been this popular in a while. I picture Carpathian Forest and Iron Maiden fans shaking hands in some sort of platonic, brotherly fashion whilst listening through this album.
This sticky-sweet, blues-tinged, Motorhead-obsessed black metal album is definitely one for the record books, and with guest vocal spots from Deathwish hardcore band Trap Them's Ryan McKenney and the immortal Roger "Nattefrost" Tiegs, I suspect (and expect) our entire reader base will love this as much as I do. Though I'm sure the kvlt-kiddies will hate this, I don't expect them to leave their basements to buy this one anyway.
The North American release of this album, containing live recordings and demos, will be released March 15th on The End Records - be sure to pre-order it here!