Saturday 4 June 2016

Kvelertak - Nattesferd (Album Review)

Release date: May 13th 2016. Label: Roadrunner Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Nattesferd – Tracklisting

01. Dendrofil for Yggdrasil
02. 1985
03. Nattesferd
04. Svartmesse
05. Bronsegud
06. Ondskapens Galakse
07. Berserkr
08. Heksebrann
09. Nekrodamus

Band Members:

Erlend Hjelvik (lead vocal)
Bjarte Lund Rolland (guitar)
Maciek Ofstad (guitar)
Vidar Landa (guitar)
Marvin Nygaard (bass)
Kjetil Gjermundrød (drummer)


Apparently Kvelertak caused a bit of stir with their 2013 album "Meir" because already it wasn't heavy enough compared to their debut self titled album "Kvelertak". Keyboard warriors across the interweb started the calls of "sell out" and presumably that they weren't "kvlt" enough. Just because they have gained some success in Norway and the stations there play them on the radio (because Norwegians are fucking cool), that doesn't mean we all need to worry. You wont be seeing them at Radio One's Big Weekend any time soon.

But I'll tell you now those same guys are going to fucking hate this, because Kvelertak don't give a shit what you think. They're going to do what they want to do (the whole point of being in a band) and apparently what they want to do is spawn an entire new genre.

I'm calling it "Van Halen Black Metal"....

Don't be fooled by album opener "Dendrofil For Yggdrasil" which is probably one of the heaviest tracks in the bands weaponry and definitely the album. Full BM tremolo picking and those by now distinct vocals of front man and owl fanatic (I've made that up) Erlend Hjelvik batter you stupid for nigh on six minutes

This isn't really what this record is about. I think it's here to trip some of us up. I certainly wasn't expecting what follows it.

"1985" the first single from the album (probably another Grammy nomination coming soon) and the title track "Nattesferd" really showcase the three guitars that Kvelertak have at their disposal as glorious 80's sounding licks, riffs and harmonies are literally everywhere. Pounding NWOBHM inspired riffs, mixed with their trademark punk and roll sound, scream out of the speakers,and then do my ears deceive me? No. No they don't. They're singing now. Clean vocals. Harmonies no less!

By this point you should be grinning ear from ear at the sheer glory of the thing!

The next track is without a doubt my favourite on the record and if you asked me (which no one has to be fair) it's my favourite song of the year. The band call it "Svartmesse" but me and the wife (nearly) call it The Car Party Song, as it's all we can listen to when we're out and about. Even our baby thinks its a banger.

I'm not going to say anymore about it but go and pop on a headband and some spandex trousers and just lose yourself in the moment by clicking here.....

The rest of the album is equally as good. Standout tracks for me being "Ondskapens Galaske" and "Heksebrann"

Album closer "Nekrodamus" is a real smasher as well. Slightly slower in it's approach and with maybe a bit more of an air of menace but still with all the swagger that they can muster. And they can muster quite a bit....

If you hadn't guessed by now I love this album. In a day and age where so many bands are miserable as fuck and take themselves way to seriously it's truly refreshing to hear a band just enjoying what they're doing and long may it continue.

Albums like this are life affirming and make me remember why I feel in love with heavy music in the first place. Pop on a copy and remind yourself as well.

Words by Simon Ross Williams