Released: Mar 26, 2013
Genre: Hardcore Punk, Black Metal, Stoner Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
This album attempts to recreate the same energy and excitement as the first, but falls a bit behind.
Drool_Mouse, on april 05, 2013 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Meir" is the sophomore effort (and the debut on Roadrunner Records) by Norwegian hard rock/metal band Kvelertak. I thoroughly enjoyed their first album with the fusion of hard rock, black metal and hardcore elements. Naturally, I was pumped to hear about the second release. In many ways, the sound on this album is the same, but there are nuances which are different. Musically, there aren't quite as many hooks that suck you in to each song. And the guitar tone is a bit different. It's obvious to me that the band likes experimenting with the tones and layering (given the 3 guitarists in the band). As with their first album, Kvelertak fuses a little black metal inspiration with a more classic sounding hard rock and hardcore. I wouldn't say anything on this album was groundbreaking (as opposed to their first album), but it still is enjoyable. This album attempts to recreate the same energy and excitement as the first, but falls a bit behind - don't get me wrong, they have incredible energy on this album too. I think over the multiple times listening to this album, I have been slightly more critical of the band due to the fact that I cherish their first so much - in other words, the bar was set pretty high in my mind. So, I definitely took that into consideration as well.
Here's a break down of the track list:
1. "Apenbaring" - A pretty interesting thing forming in this opening track. Great melody forming, coming to life from the back, and eventually makes its way front and center. My biggest complaint is that the actual intro is about 2 minutes, which is excessive considering the song is only about 3 minutes long. Overall I'd say this song is average for and opener given its strengths and weaknesses.
2. "Spring Fra Livet" - This song's structure and riffs are definitely in line with the first album, lots of energy and a moving riff. The only thing its missing in that regard is the great lead guitar tone they had prior to this album. This song also seems to be missing a bit of that catchy hard rock that was so moving with the last album too. Despite all this, I like the song and the layering is great.
3. "Trepan" - This song hits hard right at the start with a huge black metal influence - I wouldn't necessarily call it black metal, but you can definitely hear the inspiration that's present. The chorus contains a great flowing melody which really brings the song together. Feels a bit like a filler song, but I still enjoy it overall.
4. "Bruane Brenn" - This song was available for immediate download for pre-orders of the album. I didn't give it the fair chance when I heard it on its own, but it's place on the album is extremely important. It's very reminiscent of the sound they created on the first album - it's fun, energetic, hits hard - everything you want out of a great hard rock/metal song. It has this unique, but catchy chorus melody that will get stuck in your head pretty easy if you're not careful. A ways into the song, it slows down a bit, to show the "softer" side of Kvelertak, layering together a nice melodic bit, but not sacrificing the structure they've worked so hard to create on this song. The only thing this song lacks (compared to the other album) is the fantastic guitar tone, but the tone it has works well still - just doesn't blow me away as much.
5. "Evig Vandrar" - This song's got a great pulsing heavy riff. It's also got some great classic metal references and really just sucks you in and keeps you wanting more. There's a nice memorable lead part that goes through this song, and the guitar harmonies in this song are good too, but they're nothing like the debut album. This is a fun part of the album for sure.
6. "Snilepisk" - This track is a fun hardcore riff, and a fun approach to the song. There's not a whole lot to say overall, I suppose I'd consider this song to be a filler track, but still helps bring a certain wholeness to this album. The most noteworthy part is probably the break later in the song that has a sort of middle eastern musical sound to it. It kind of brings a uniqueness to this song.
7. "Manelyst" - Overall, this sounds like it has a more modern approach to the songwriting on this track. It's got some good lead melody layering as well as great vocal layering. The solo is very classic metal for the first half and kind of steps back for a more hard rock for the second half of the solo. A fun piece for sure.
8. "Nekrokosmos" - This song's got a dominant melodic black metal inspiration behind it, and some good hardcore elements in it. The choir within the chorus gives this song a slightly different flavor to it than the rest of the album. It's got a nice break which allow some of the notes to ring and to clash giving a big unique sound. The outro kind of preps you for the next track "Undertro".
9. "Undertro" - The introductory vocals are slightly reminiscent of Rammstein to me - with the tone of the vocals in addition to the fact that the lyrics are not in English. It's got a nice metal riff, something lots of metal fans should be able to appreciate, I feel. The biggest part of this song, to me, is this cool discordant section which is quickly followed by this great hard rock riff, which then gets back to the heavy bits again. Fun quick changes should keep the listener interested pretty well.
10. "Tordenbrak" - The song is very much like the first album, nice hard rock elements and energy along with the heavy hitting of the hardcore and metal scenes. There's a really fun chorus bit to this song too, which kept me entertained pretty well. The song takes a different direction about 5 minutes in with a great lick and a fun riff. Unfortunately, this song has a kind of annoying ending. This great riff slowly fades out, but it's replaced by this sort of pick scratchy, white noise which goes on for the last minute or so of the song.
11. "Kvelertak" - This song sounds very 1980's hard rock to me. It's a very fun song, a great part of this album as well as a great finish to this album. The riff is pretty simple but has a lot of energy and works well. There's a lead lick that reminds me a bit of Baroness' harmony parts (even in the layering), which is cool with me. Musically, I'd also dare to say that it reminds me of The Darkness, but without all the ridiculous falsetto singing. // 7
Lyrics: As far as the lyrics go, technically, I'm at a loss. They are all in Norwegian, given the bands origin. But also, the aren't lyrics included in the booklet, only the concept behind each song, which is cool with me. It forces me to allow the sound to dominate the story instead of just the words. I have never been offended by the language barrier of the lyrics because the music can then be experienced aurally without worrying about the lyricist failing to deliver. With the lyrics complying with the music, they fit great together given the musical styles combined in this band's music. Here's the description for each song:
1. "Apenbaring" - "A feather clad man breaks into your skull / He has such sights to show you."
2. "Spring Fra Livet" - "When the walls of life are closing in, you best run for the hills."
3. "Trepan" - "Trepanning is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled into the human skull, releasing evil spirits."
4. "Bruane Brenn" - "Burn the bridges, kill the jailer, live life on the run."
5. "Evig Vandrar" - "An unholy pact has doomed this man to walk the earth until the end of time."
6. "Snilepisk" - "This dark tyrant's whip is made of hair and flesh / He will leave scars across the land."
7. "Manelyst" - "In the cold light of the moon you become possessed by evil."
8. "Nekrokosmos" - "A green meteor of iron strikes the graveyard. An intergalactic traveller won't leave until everything around him is dead."
9. "Undertro" - "Nothing matters. We're not even a grain of sand in Cosmos."
10. "Tordenbrak" - "There is a storm coming. All you can do is pray."
11. "Kvelertak" - "Like the Asgardsreia we will have all the mortals in our way join our cavalcade." // 6
Overall Impression: I'd say, the album compares ok with the previous. It's fun and energetic as the first is, the personality of the band. It's hard to compete with their previous, for me though, considering how much I loved their self-titled album. My favorite songs from the album are "Bruane Brenn", "Evig Vandrar", and "Kvelertak". There's nothing I really hate about the album, but I love the atmosphere and energy of their style. I would definitely buy this album again. I feel this album definitely has a good place in my collection and helps bring some great energy and fun to my collection. I definitely look forward to see what this band will produce in the future.