Every once in a while there comes a band whose records defies the easy categorization we writers are so fond of. Kverlertak's (the Norwegian word for chokehold) debut is such a record. This band has done something quite unique in terms of combining influences from Norwegian black metal, hardcore and groovy melodies and molded them into something quite original.
Kvelertak's music makes for the perfect party record - the solid groove put on display and the hooks that there is an abundance of on this record makes this reviewer truly happy. Because this is a really strong record virtually packed with great songs. I've selected Ulvetid, Fossegrim, Sjøhyenar and Nekroskop as the best ones, but there really aren't any weak tracks on this record.
Greatly influenced by the black metal from Norway there are some sections that use the trademark blastbeats just beautifully, and when the groove kicks in I find myself thinking that, yes this is the way to do it. This is not a difficult record, and from note one the members delivers such an onslaught with such a conviction that takes the breath away.
Kvelertak has singlehandedly managed to restore my interest in Norwegian music of the heavier kind to such a degree that I during the first listen had to stop and backtrack to hear some sections again, which I've never done since starting reviewing music.
Erlend Hjelvik is a true shouter, and although you never hear what he is shouting (in Norwegian mind you), he delivers a vocal performance of great magnitude, and after hearing guitarists Ofstad, Landa and Rolland I motion that three guitars is the way to go. The heaviness you get from that many instruments is just awesome and put on top of the solid rythmsection of Gjermundrød and Nygaard this makes for a sonic impact to truly astound me.
The production, handled by Kurt Ballou from Converge, is top notch. Raw, yet smooth and massive the sound is perfectly suited to the songs.
Kvelertak is a band worthy of recognition and praise - and I've already started building up an appetite for their next record. If the band holds this level this could be the next truly big thing in music coming out of Norway.
also review of: Meir