After being totally immersed in music for a decade or two (or three), it’s easy to grow desensitized to the untainted joy and fresh excitement that music can bring. Thankfully, there is Norway’s KVELERTAK that easily remind us all why we became music freaks in the first place. With their second album, Meir, the band easily meet the lofty expectations set by their explosive debut.
KVELERTAK have matured as songwriters and have taken their fun and exciting hybrid of Norwegian black metal, rock ‘n roll, and punk to fresh places. The trademarks of the 8th note downstroked riffing, blast beats, bluesy solos, and gang vocals are still intact. The band effectively use melodic guitar leads, acoustic guitars, and soulful rock ‘n roll riffing with their black metal dimension. Meir can sound equally happy and fun as well as ugly, mean, and black. Arguably, the highlight of the album is the blazing “Nekrokosmos.” The song starts off in a fairly standard way before it ends with a long instrumental bridge that is beautifully reminiscent of EMPEROR‘s “With Strength I Burn” and “The Wanderer.”
CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou has done a perfect job with the production side of the album. Meir is perfectly balanced, warm, and has natural tones.
Meir generates the kind of emotions that excite a person to (re)dedicate their lives to music. Fresh, fun, exciting, and just so fucking good. Buy or die. (Roadrunner Records)