06. Sjøhyenar (Havets Herrer)
07. Sultans Of Satan
10. Ordsmedar Av Rang
11. Utrydd dei Svake
[Indie Recordings | 06/21/10]
Being sung in their native language, I can’t understand a damn word that Norway’s Kvelertak are screaming on this, their self-titled debut record – but I don’t give a rat’s netherquarters. Tone for the review: this album is GOOD.
They were described recently by a friend as “Baroness if they were raised on black metal” (interestingly, note the stylistic similarities in album artwork between the two), and shit in the snow, he’s not far off – Vocalist Erlend Hjelvik has that kind of caustic screech usually synonymous with the darkest of metal genres. It sounds GOOD!
Personally, I’d liken them more to Every Time I Die. This may seem like a strange jump, but the music itself is actually more balls-out rock & roll than anything – there are riffs galore, and they are GOOD!
Wow, this is going well isn’t it?
The most prevalent thought I had whilst listening to this album was that they’re everything I wish Cancer Bats were. Not to poop from a great height on the Bats – they’re a fine band – but given the similarities, I think Kvelertak have a little bit of an edge, and for me it’s the vocals. Singing in a foreign (to us) language is not often seen, and with their style so seemingly out of place, perhaps it’s the change that makes it so…erm…good?
Possibly even greater than this, however, is the tracklisting. Whilst probably a load of gobbledigook to most of you, I’ve run the titles past a Norwegian friend, who has kindly translated them for me. There are some corkers, such as Sjøhyenar (Havets Herrer) which means ‘Sea-Hyenas (Lords/Masters of the Sea)’ or Ulvetid which comes back as the kick-ass ‘Wolf-Time’. But my favourite is track 3, Fossegrim. Here’s what my friend had to say.
“Fossegrim is a scary creature that lives by waterfalls (foss=waterfall) and teaches you how to play awesome violin if you bring him smoked sheep shanks stolen from a neighbour four Thursdays in a row. If you don’t do it in secret, he will traumatize you by dancing naked.”
Fucking awesome, Kvelertak. That’s just earned you an extra 0.5 crunchybirds. This is GOOD. And you got Kurt Ballou to produce.
Kvelertak’s Kvelertak gets