The Norwegian black ’n’ roll outfit KVELERTAK has never done an error when it comes to their discography. Each one of their albums contains some quality rock and roll infused with loud drums, dirty guitars and nasty vocal performances that evoke the harsh spirit of extreme metal.
Considering how gritty sounding the band’s last album, 2016’s ”Nattesferd” was, it is clear that the direction has changed a bit on ”Splid.” Not only is there a change in the sonic characteristics of the record, but there has also been a slight line-up change. Longtime vocalist Erlend Hjelvik left the band in 2018, and he is now followed by Ivar Nikolaisen.
Make no mistake, Nikolaisen is a beast when it comes to delivering shouty vocals that get you amped up. On songs like ”Rogaland,” ”Discord,” and ”Uglas hegemoni,” he is able to deliver both adrenaline-fueled and sing-along inducing vocal tracks that compliment the band’s sound very naturally.
”Splid” sees the Norwegian rascals dealing some of their most straight forward rock and roll songs with a punk attitude to match – very much in the vein of the great MOTÖRHEAD with hints of MASTODON and NEUROSIS here and there. Speaking of the amazing MASTODON, Troy Sanders himself guests on the song ”Crack of Doom”, which is just evocative of the spirit which inhabits Sanders’ band.
A great bulk of the album sees the band doing what they do the best, and that is high voltage rock and roll mixed with bursts of blast beats and razor wire guitars. Songs like ”Necrosoft” and ”Bråtebrann” are like fusions of DIO, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD with the intensity of hardcore punk bands such as AGNOSTIC FRONT, TERROR and BLACK FLAG.
On the other hand, KVELERTAK does reach to their inner jam band side on cuts like ”Fanden ta dette hull!,” ”Delirium tremend,” and ”Ved breddeven av Nihil,” each of being over 6 minutes long with the second mentioned song clocking over eight minutes. These songs have some elements from the progressive sides of bands such as RUSH and even some IRON MAIDEN tunes.
There are no surprises on the record, and if you didn’t expect any, then there is not much left to desire on the record. Personally, I feel that at times the intense soundscape can get a bit jarring after a while, which could limit the consumption of the album in the long run. This personal issue aside, ”Splid” is a well-crafted album full of loud and in-your-face type heavy metal with hardcore and extreme elements mixed in. It seems like KVELERTAK has yet to make a bad album.
Written by Samuel Järvinen
Vidar Landa – guitar
Bjarte Lund Rolland – guitar
Marvin Nygaard – bass
Maciek Ofstad – guitar, vocals
Ivar Nikolaisen – vocals
Håvard Takle Ohr – drums
- Crack Of Doom (feat. Troy Sanders)
- Uglas Hegemoni
- Fanden Ta Dette Hull!
- Stevnemøte Med Satan
- Delirium Tremens
- Ved Bredden Av Nihil