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Metal - Released February 14, 2020 | Rise Records

Erlend Hjelvik will no longer be the singer for Kvelertak as he decides to explore new horizons. But the band will need a lot more than that to stop their creative flow, as proven by Splid, marking Ivar Nikolaisen’s baptism as their new vocalist. He cut his teeth with Silver and The Good, The Bad & The Zugly, and sounds as punk as Erlend did black metal. The result? An insane manifesto mid-way between hard rock, black metal, punk and classic rock. Kvelertak continues to blend influences with disconcerting simplicity. During the eight minutes of Fanden ta dette hull!, you journey between AC/DC, Slayer, Metallica and Turbonegro. The composition talent of guitarists Ivar Landa, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad is of a diabolically rare precision. Splid takes us from moments of extreme festivity to extreme darkness and delivers a knockout blow at every turn. Honourable mentions for Rogaland, Tevling and Delirium Tremens that promote the punk side of things more than Kvelertak has ever done before. Finally, Troy Sanders and Mastodon feature on Crack of Doom, a veritable ode to the party. The great poet Jagger once said “It’s only rock’n’roll but I like it” and Splid, a must-listen, confirms this. © Maxime Archambaud/Qobuz

Metal - Released May 13, 2016 | Roadrunner Records


Metal - Released March 26, 2013 | Roadrunner Records

Norway's Kvelertak (Norwegian for "chokehold") turned heads, some of which went all the way around Linda Blair-style, with their 2010 eponymous debut, an extreme metal "fasterpiece" that took the genre to the mat, flipped it over on its belly, and went in for the tickle. On 2013's Meir, the band's Roadrunner Records debut, the spirited, Stavanger-based six-piece doubles down (Meir = More) on their signature blend of thrash, black, power, death, and punk metal, offering up an 11-track tray of mead shots that leave the listener in happy little pieces. This isn't your black greasepaint-covered father's extreme Scandinavian metal. Kvelertak subvert the genre in the same way Andrew W.K. does, by taking all of the exclusivity out of it and shifting the focus to what decibel-shattering music is really about: partying. That said, Meir is hardly an exercise in camp, nor is it imbued with any kind of hipster irony. Songs like "Spring Fra Livet," with its ratty, snarling verses and explosive, life-affirming chorus (sung with polyp-inducing viciousness by frontman Erlend Hjelvik), and the epic single "Bruane Brenn," which pairs the seismic crunch of Mastodon and the mad, melodic glee of fellow countrymen Kaizers Orchestra with a guitar breakdown that's pulled straight out of the Mutt Lange playbook, bristle with the feral and fantastic fatalism of youth, while desperately holding on to tried and true classic rock underpinnings for support. Kvelertak have the chops and the attitude, but best of all they have the songs, which is more than can be said about some of their contemporaries. They may use familiar ingredients, but they're familiar for a reason. Meir is, simply put, fu*king delicious. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo