Kvelertak – Meir review

When my friend told me about this, I was so stoked. Now that I’ve heard the album, I’m not.
tl;dr

I like the record, but it’s not great. I’m actually not even sure that it’s good, and I may only be liking it right now because it’s new, and the first Kvelertak record is so good that I don’t care. The more I listen, and the more I think about it, the less I like the record, and the more my grumpiness grows.

It opens with a long instrumental buildup that had me prepared for an awesome Ulvetid-esque opener. Alas, there is little black metal thrashery to follow the almost two minute buildup. Instead we get a low intensity, mid-tempo slog. Near the end of the song they do a nice little black metal harmony bit, but at half pace, and no energy in the rest of the music, or vocals. The song peters out into the second mid-tempo jam, which also has lacklustre guitar harmonies, and even less inspired vocals, and that’s all the second song gets.

Trepan, the third track is an awesome, if not slower, first album style song. Catchy changes, fun guitar play, still kinda mean. But then they blow that away by dropping into a slow classic rock outro and make me want to put on Sultans of Satan from the first album.

Bruane Brenn, the first single downloadable all over, is the only song I’ve been interested in enough to make up English words for the Norwegian singing (I’ll be coming here again/Here we go, I go again/I am here a screaming hand/Said I’ll be going there again). The next song is a bad Turbonegro song. Like, post-heroin Turbonegro trying to be pre-post-heroin Turbonegro. Snilepisk and MÃ¥nelyst are great, but again slower, songs that could’ve been on the first record.

From here on out, it’s mostly boring town. 5 minute plus jam songs that make me think they’ve traded in their Jagermeister, speed and black metal tapes (or whatever other genius enablers they used for the first record) and grabbed themselves a bong, a bunch of good weed and some boring slow stoner rock CDs. I know some people will love this shit, and I might even like it a bit as well if it weren’t for the fact that this is the followup for one of the best crossover records in the last 10 years.

At nearly nine minutes (NINE MINUTES IS NOT OK), Tordenbrak comes in and slogs around without ever giving up the goods.

The final track, Kvelertak also bores, but thankfully it’s only a few minutes long and you don’t need to endure the boring, slow, radio rock flavour. Seriously, the song could fully be played on modern radio and normal people would be like “DUDE THESE GUYS ROCK, LET’S GO DO JAGERBOMBS AND DRINK SOME FUCKING MOOSEHEAD!”

I said I like the record, and now that I’m done writing about it while I listen, I’m less sure of that. It’s nowhere near as good as the first album. It shouldn’t be surprising that it’s not as good; what is surprising is just how relatively bad it is. It’s like AC/DC, when you listen to the Bon Scott stuff, it rips, it’s awesome, it’s the same song 40 times and it’s awesome every time. Then you put on the Brian Johnson stuff and you see that all the parts are there, but there’s no heart any more. Or Turbonegro minus Heroin; Guns’n’Roses on Appetite vs UYI2; Killers-Somewhere in Time vs Fear of the Dark; etc.

The best thing I can say about it is that it’s making me listen to the first album on repeat again.