Album Review – Kvelertak “Kvelertak” 2010

  Kvelertak is Norwegian for “Chokehold”, although until I looked it up I assumed it meant “More Cowbell”, since this band spends their entire self-titled debut tear-assing around classic rock territory with wild abandon and no regard for genre labels. This sextet from Norway purveys a state-of-the-art blend of punk, fuzzy rock and early black metal with a bit of something for everyone. All lyrics are in their mother tongue, so I don’t really know what’s happening, but based on lone English title “Sultans of Satan” I think it’s safe to say it ain’t all unicorns and rainbows*. The band act as though they’ve been defrosted à la Demolition Man and are prepared to show the new millennium how the rock is done. Oh yes, you did just hear a tambourine and you liked it.

This album has swing to spare and points to a bright future for a new generation of Nordic retro-rockers. Think a heavier version of The Sword, a less amusing Chrome Division, or Karma to Burn with Gallows-style vocals. Think obvious tour partner for Danko Jones on his Scandinavian jaunts (where they might give the Mango Kid’s legendary live set a run for its money). Think if you just understood any of that you should be thinking about checking Kvelertak out. Plug it in and prepare to surrender to the 70’s. 8 out of 10

*Unless you mean Blackmore’s Rainbow, because then, yeah maybe.



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