Kvelertak - Meir (Roadrunner)

Meir than just a copy of their debut...
Release Date: 
24 Mar 2013 - 11:30pm

Kvelertak’s self titled debut was one of those records that seemingly divided the metal community down the middle, it being an archetypal love it or hate it affair brimming with possibly just a little too much fuck you attitude and no-compromise bravado for those with more gentle sensibilities, yet displaying to all who listened to it enough promise to ensure that everyone would be coming back for a listen the next time these supremely talented Norwegians came out to play…

Well, here they are, with meir of the same (geddit?), or are they? Broadly the answer is yes, although Meir is undoubtedly a thousand times more accessible than its predecessor. Where Kvelertak was happy to meld black metal and punk in a very of-it’s-time marriage of convenience, the formula this time around has been augmented hugely by massive dollops of steaming seventies rock, which, on the likes of Undertro and the utterly titanic Tordenbrak means you may well find yourself labouring under the happy misapprehension that you’re listening to lost works from the likes of Thin Lizzy or Grand Funk Railroad.

At least you would if it weren’t for the barrel chested roar of vocalist Erland Hjelvik, which, as before, keeps everything here rooted in the extreme. Even album closer Kvelertak, a melodic rocker that fellow Scands The Gloria Story would be proud to have as their own is rounded out by Hjelvik’s incessant barking, ensuring that, however tuneful this band gets musically they ain’t ever swerving off the left-hand path that much thanks to his frankly mental intercessions.

Converge man Kurt Ballou Is at the production helm again, and it has to be said that Hjelvik aside he’s the key player in this band’s continued ascent to the pantheon of extreme music Gods. His work on Meir is utterly faultless, giving the sound just the amount of full-blooded bottom end it needs to get that whiff of seventies authenticity, separating the various six-pronged noises adroitly and assuring maximum impact for every song on the disc. I loved Kvelertak for it’s intense smash and grab assault on the senses, but Meir is a definite grower, and ultimately I think will be seen to be a better album. And it bodes well for a massive, massive future. Exciting stuff.