I had heard of Kvelertak (which means Stranglehold in English) more or less 10 months ago. The fact that their lyrics were written in Norwegian prevented me from giving them a try, remembering how boring Sigur Ros are (no offense, but I can’t stand them). On the other hand, I’d seen the cover of their last album Meir (More), created by the leader of Baroness John Dyer Baizley, and thought that perhaps it was some sort of doom-prog album. Well, something similar happened with Baroness, until I listened to Yellow & Green, and shit on my pants right away. Guess these are more examples which prove I shouldn’t trust appearances so much. It is true, I’m going through a period of time I need feeling overwhelmed by music, to listen to a record and end up motionless with my mouth wide open, babbling and thinking “what the fuck is that!”, as if receiving a hard blow right in my face, this is, I’m looking for energy, rage and powerful riffs, and nowadays metal can fulfill this need.
Lately I’m making jokes about my upcoming midlife crisis, as I’m getting closer to turning 40, saying my personal issues are reflected in my recently taste for metal stuff. In the past years I was too mild, listening to lots of folk and Americana, however from a couple of years or so, I’m very into harder stuff, and to be honest, the energy of these bands I’m so enthusiastic with, really make me feel younger. Whatever! I might be talking nonsense here, and I’m still 37 ha ha ha.
Anyway, the Norwegian band Kvelertak was confirmed as part of the line up for the Primavera Sound Festival 2014, which was held this last weekend (I’m intend to write a more detailed post about it asap), and since I had heard so many good reviews, I found some time to listen to both their albums. I don’t know if I’m a very impressible musically speaking, or perhaps I’m overreceptive to new stuff, but I found them mindblowing.
It had to be mine so I ordered it right away and since the day it arrived, it’s been my main soundrack of the last 3 weeks.
Perhaps the voice of their leader, Erlend Hjelvik is not the most accessible at first hearing in the world, in fact guttural voices are not usually my kind, but combined with the reckless rhythm and dynamism, the addictive riffs and the job of 3 guitars, the rough drums, the stomping bass lines, their power and the huge energy, this album can conquer anyone in metal mood. And once again, considering the language barriers, at the end of the day, you let the music do the talking, just focus on it and forget about the message, which apparently is quite epic according to the clues inside the booklet. Every song is accompanied by a clarifying sentence, so ‘Åpebaring’ (Revelation) is something related to “a feather clad man breaks into your skull. He has such sights to show you”; ‘Evig Vandrar’ (Eternal Wanderer) is about “an unholy pact has doomed this man to walk the earth until the end of time”; ‘Tordenbrank’ (Thunderclap)“there is a storm coming. All you can do is pray”. Pure metal inspiration from savage lands.
Regarding their performance last Thursday, I can advance you they didn’t disappoint at all, and the rockin’ audience of the festival crowned them as one of the winning bands of the line up. They came, played and demolished, and we got crazy. What a fuckin’ blast.
Lenge leve norsk strøm! Helvete!