Sound — 9
This is a rare one. Kvelertak is a new and fresh band from Norway. The band formed in 2007 and quickly built quite a following. After winning a national wide competition in 2010 where unknown and underground bands compete against each other, they had their breakthrough in Norway. The release of the self titled debut album was considered the best debut metal album in Norway off all time. It was a great critical success.
The sound of the album is quite unique. It may be described as hardcore punk with elements of black metal, but it's really many different genres thrown together in an excellent mix. One thing is for sure, the sound is heavy.
The bands sings/screams mainly in Norwegian, but there is still some few parts in English. The singing is not the usual dark groaning, but a lither type of screaming found in the 70-80s and the vocalist does a fantastic job. The band futures three guitarists, the sound have some interesting guitar harmonies and massive energy in the heavier parts. The songs may at first sound pretty straightforward, but there is often twists where the band mixes things up a bit. And that's what Kvelertak does so well. Influences from Hendrix, Queens Of The Stone Age, Guns N' Roses and many others may suddenly and quite unexpectedly appear in the middle of a song, and the result is always in Kvelertak's favor.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are quite ridiculous, but suit the style of the album very well. With song names that translate to "wolftime, mead, blood thirst, night of sacrifice and exterminate the weak" you get what you expect. There is generally a lot of Norse mythology, killing, alcohol and violence described in the lyrics. In "Sultans Of Satan" the lyrics go "They rode through snow, They rode through water, They rode through sand, to kill him!" The lyric can be quite hard to understand because of the screaming, even if you know the language, but I promise that you won't care.
Overall Impression — 10
This is quite a unique album. The play style can't really be described in a way that people can relate to. There is no band out there that plays this way. This album is the best Norwegian metal record I own and know about. Initially I was scared away from the record because I could not get used to the singing. But the special artwork on the album caught my attention in the music store, and I bought it because I've heard so much positive reviews of it. After a couple of songs I understood what all the fuss was about. There are so many things going on in this record. There is a lot of catching riffs and energy when the three guitarist play together. This may be the only weakness in this album. There's may be too much going on. It can feel a little all over the place, but nevertheless it's still one of the best metal album to come out of Norway in the last years. I highly recommend a listen. A good place to start would be the song "Blodtrst".