Let me start this review off by stating the obvious: if you don’t know who Kvelertak are, then you really should get acquainted with them immediately. Hailing from Norway, Kvelertak are a self-described “Black & Roll” band, alluding to the fact that the band seamlessly add in both black metal and Rock and roll influences to their music. It’s a sound they’ve perfected since the moment of their inception as a band. With their third full-length record, Nattesferd, Kvelertak have switched up the formula a little bit, and the results are simply phenomenal.
The opening track “Dendrofil for Yggdrasil” is pretty much the Kvelertak we all know and love. Their raunchy, dirty take on the black metal genre has fast, blistering riffs and drums that pound for miles. Interestingly, their black metal influence pretty much ends right there for nearly the entire duration of the record. The next track is “1985,” and believe me when I say that this song is quite a departure from Kvelertak’s usual sound. I absolutely loved it. Suddenly, it’s a throwback to a 70s psychedelic groovy sound, with a guitar hook that just grabs you. I’ll assume most diehard Kvelertak fans might be a little thrown off by this one, but it’s just so damn catchy and enjoyable.
The title track “Nattesferd” is a mix of the first two tracks on here. It’s incredibly heavy, but with riffs reminiscent of some old school 70s rock and metal. Imagine a slightly heavier Foo Fighters sound; that’s the vibe I get with this one. At this point, when the next track “Svartmesse” kicks in, it starts to become clear that the band are shedding their black metal influences for a more “old-school” type of sound. Personally, I’m totally in to it. “Bronsegud” is a brilliantly awesome mix of punk and metal that Kvelertak completely nail, while “Ondskapens Galakse” slows things down for a little bit, only to come right back and kick you in the face with a track that is equally rich in beautiful melodies and chunky, heavy guitar riffs.
There really isn’t much more I can say about this record. Having been around since 2007 and with three full-length releases, Kvelertak are a band that quite literally don’t give a fuck. They certainly took a different direction on this record than on their previous releases, and personally I think they’ve absolutely killed it with Nattesferd. While still maintaining their heaviness, Kvelertak have created a record full of great melodies and guitar tones so rich and colorful, you can almost taste them. Now that you’ve got that imagine in your head, I’d say it’s time for you to stop reading this review and pop in this record for your ear holes to enjoy!
Written by Dominic Abate
*edited by Kate Erickson