Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kvelertak - Kvelertak

I need to get my shit together. This is 2013 and these are all old reviews I started back in 2012. I'll put them all under December 2012 since I didn't update at all during that timeframe and most of these albums are ancient news now.

I bet most of these will end up sounding half-assed. Let's do it anyway.

Kvelertak's self-titled debut has been out for awhile now and I listened to it back in 2010. It achieved popularity amongst the hipster hardcore crowd, in beardcore circles, and with people who legitimately still think Baroness is quality sludge. It also achieved critical and commercial success, going gold and receiving two Spellemann awards.  Kvelertak merge lite-crust elements into a bright sludgecore mold. Their style is often upbeat, rompous, and energetic. There's no Eyehategod or Acid Bath comparisons to be made here, and maybe that's what puts me off. The infectious riffing certainly doesn't.

These guys are masters at writing simple, catchy riff anthems. Singles "Mjød" and "Blodtørst" are both memorable, the latter for its chorus and the former for its anthemic pulse. They're both solid tracks, and along with "Fossegrim," which has a great solo, make up the best tracks on Kvelertak. In fact, if these tracks weren't on the album, it would be completely forgettable. The second half of the album is pretty unlikable. It's filled with frustrating intermittent cleans ("Ordsmedar av Rang") and the repetitious 'happy' riffing is downright irritating since it seems like you've heard the full breadth of Kvelertak's musical repertoire by that point. "Nekroskop" stands out a little bit because it has some black metal riffing in it at least.

The mixing and production job on Kvelertak's self-titled is alright -- fitting enough for the music. The problem for me comes in the form of style, and while it's hard to really fault the band for what they were going for, it certainly doesn't appeal to me on this album. The upbeat play is flowery and rather innocuous, and the lack of variation makes it annoying by the end of Kvelertak. Not bad if you like Baroness-style 'sludge' though.

6.0 out of 10

1. Ulvetid
2. Mjød
3. Fossegrim
4. Blodtørst
5. Offernatt
6. Sjøhyenar (Havets Herrer)
7. Sultans Of Satan
8. Nekroskop
9. Liktorn
10. Ordsmedar av Rang
11. Utrydd dei Svake


No comments:

Post a Comment