Monday, 23 May 2016

Kvelertak "Nattesferd" (2016)

Prior to this record I had never heard of this Norwegian six piece band Kvelertak. It would seem that they have had a significant success selling records in their homeland and have been praised by critics for a unique blend of Rock n Roll and Black Metal. On "Nattesferd", the groups third, much of the black sounds like a hangover heard in singer Hejlvik's rough, tonal screams and guitar distortions that are a touch more visceral and thick than whats warranted for the Rock N Roll core of their sound. They are not the first too fuse the two sounds together but maybe the first where the artistic intention comes from a much brighter and expressive place than the scornful fire and hate filled noise of Black Metal.

The sounds of a generation gone by echo through this record 70s Rock and Hard Rock leanings reminiscent of Thin Lizzy, see "1985", and other acts of that era make up a large portion of the sounds between the occasional blast beat and shredded guitar riff. Its fluid, organic, full of twists and turns led by solid guitar riffs often accompanied by bright acoustics that accent the rhythm guitars direction. These songs have a fantastic sense of direction and expansion as they evolve through many riffs and progressions that become pretty captivating when in the mood to enjoy whats on show.

With this they certainly carve a unique identity for themselves on a gorgeous sounding production that breaths a ton of life into the guitar tones and strikes a sweet balance with the drums. Everything sounds peachy except for two things which I always found dispelling. I'm not a fan of the vocals, they feel out of place, a little raw and flat and for the most part become tiresome when in the music. As well as that some of the guitar tones get a little weighty and aggressive which feels unnecessary. With that said there are plenty of blacker moments in this record that flow very well between its counterpart. There is artistic creative and vision in abundance but the way it comes together just isn't quite for my taste all of the time. Despite my annoyances I still think its a fantastic record.
Favorite Tracks: Nattesferd, Heksabrann
Rating: 7/10