KVELERTAK is not an easy band to classify and this interesting album titled “Splid” us an example
Being different is the best thing that can happen to you and that you are respected for being like that, much better. The band KVELERTAK, They are and with their new album “Splid” they confirm it. They reveal its quality even when its vocalist is a new component that fits sensationally with the rest of the members.
From Norway we get KVELERTAK, which in the middle of last month gave us their fourth production called “Splid”, full of intrigue in its heavy sounds and elaborated in the best freedom of creativity. Linking sounds of Black Metal, Thrash Metal or Punk Metal, an appetizing collage, which is an allegory to what Extreme Metal is. KVELERTAK, has managed to creatively weave all these elements, making his productions give him the opportunity to expand throughout the planet with a good reception and supporting the expectation this time with his new album.
This fourth album brings the novelty of a new singer, Ivar Nikolaisen who replaced Erlend Hjelvik, who was ex-singer of a couple of bands that had been on tour with KVELERTAK. He is an inspired choice and clearly understands what has always made the band great: the awkward and difficult balance of grungy and filthy underground Metal style they pose and the grand theatrical Melodic solemnity of their chords. The tone ofvoice Mr. Nikolaisen’s is different, he sings louder and cleaner, he has a gradual but different change. The great immediate and obvious divergence is that he sometimes sings in English, something that MR.Hjelvik never did. It doesn’t do it too often, “Splid” contains only two of these features which are already many.
A doubt that clearly arose howvoice tones would sound Mr. Nikolaisen’s, but it fit neatly intoaggressive sound project “Splid’s”. Her screams and squeals add a touch of mania to the cuts, increasing the mix of agitation and restlessness that her busy and pulsating voice brings. This realization aims to keep the sound delivery at a constant level, since each song is destined to be increased to the maximum that the musicians can give us. We are in the presence of a change that will catapult them more to success.
KVELERTAK are growing by leaps and bounds. They usually play as headliners at foreign festivals, even with all the offer that there is in that Scandinavian country. As a badge to do a World Tour with METALLICA few can do it and they have done it. His previous three albums have been ranked among the first on several European specialized music charts. They are becoming a total cult band. They are grounded and supported by their quirkiness: their Viking germ for singing in their natural language and shaping screeching Black Thrash Metal cries in Classic Rock material. Having the personality of listening to them through the built-in language barrier and that rather than moving them closer, they make them interesting, but ask those of us who like RAMMSTEIN and German, we are illiterate in their language. We have content about Viking stuff and Nordic legends, although not phrased like the original Norwegian Black Metal bands that sometimes use those images, the band has always been steadfastly anti-fascist. Other contents go from the pernicious forces of Capitalism and the conformity of some members of this society, which means a lot in the society of that country. But I insist that the translation of your message is not the essence of your proposal.
El KVELERTAK he recorded “Splid”is clearly the same band of his previous presentations, but you can immediately hear the difference, a fact that cause the rest of its members, VidarLanda,on lead guitar and vocals, Bjarte Lund Rolland, on the second guitar, piano and backing vocals, Marvin Nygaard, on bass, extra percussion and backing vocals, Maciek Ofstad, on the third guitar and vocals, and Håvard Takle Ohr, on drums, who also debuts on this album. They have made “Splid” an enormously generous album musically. It was produced, recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou, mastered by Alan Douches and also recorded by Zach Week at GodCity Studios in Massachusetts, in the United States and with the support of Rise Records for distribution. On the album we find the collaboration of Troy Sanders from MASTODON on the vocals of the song “Crack Of Doom” and bassist-guitarist Nate Newton from the band CONVERGE collaborates on the song “Discord” and who also produced their first two albums.
Musically, “Splid” continues the path the band has been in for a present time, moving from the blackened D-beat craziness of their 2010 self-titled debut and beyond the more outsized and copious riffs and accompaniments of “Meir” from 2013 and “Nattesferd” from 2016. It sounds like the primitive Punk Metal of the eighties or the Black Metal of the early nineties. But it also has strangely beautiful acoustic moments that could sound even a little bit of Grunge or neoclassical interludes, the best is how KVELERTAK puts it together and they sound like themselves.
The album with the song “Rogaland” is released, it starts with a rhythm that reaches up to soft touches of distortion, as the rhythm intensifies taking its provocative and violent place, the song finally opens to a bombarding collision of instrumentation, which Steer clear of heavy rock and punk adrenaline.
“Crack of Doom” with the collaboration of Troy Sanders from MASTODON conveys the frantic joy of Rock and Roll from the previous cut. The voice of Mr. Sanders brings an overflowing texture to the composition, interchanging very well with the voice of Mr. Nikolaisen.
“Necrosoft”, boosts everything they give, but with a measure to do a headbnading, as it is necessary to dislocate the cervicals, the riffs are natural stimulants, I recommend the song to start the day.
“Discord” with the collaboration of Nate Newton from CONVERGE, as the previous one, KVELERTAK is dedicated to raising the spirits with themes like this that advance until they give power to resist any inclement weather with These rhythms and we still have a lot of material on the album, the collaboration on the strings of an artist appreciated by the band.
“Bråtebrann” exudes an essence of mythical Heavy Metal bands for harmonic structure, as vocals rise above the work of radiant guitar riffs, the lyrical sections pick up on the more aggressive Norwegians’ tendencies, providing juxtaposition interesting when the choir arrives that you are invited to sing.
“Uglas Hegemoni”, at the beginning of the review mentioned that Punk Metal is the best source from which it quenches the thirst to the Norwegians, taking it to a particular and own touch, coming to sound like some popular radio-formula band for their tune, but they are not and they retain a certain anonymity, but this track sounds excellent.
“Fanden ta Dette Hull!”, Includes one of the most exciting transitions of the full length, the song plays at a relatively slower pace compared to previous cuts, but then abruptly turns into a full Thrash Metal track, its fel speed and the noise of the other instruments allow a true anarchic confusion.
“Tevling”, the acoustic arpeggio, links with the distortions staying in low sounds that reverberate, where it develops, reaching an effective and decisive preamble to catch “the point” of the band.
“Stevnemøte Med Satan”, creative misery does not exist and they manage to do with a few simple chords to give us the mastery of these not frivolous musicians. “Delirium Tremens”, tranquility between the storm, organic sounds almost progressive in color, but these also change, they develop because the stillness is apparent, the level rises and causes what theexposes us title: a trembling delirium due to ingestion Of the nine previous songs, if you want a definition of “Splid” here you have it in more than 8 minutes of its, you feel like leaving it, you want more and durationKVELERTAK invites the last one.
“Ved Bredden av Nihil”, an epilogue, notes squeezed to what they give, the beginning percussions are fair to the rest of the chords, outrageous and dementia in abundance. A more than worthy ending.
The Old Continent is the origin and beginning of good bands with productions that contain songs that are appetizing and convenient for what the fanatic asks for and demands. With this, what KVELERTAK, they want to raise and express with “Splid”, legitimately conceive tremendously ingenious, close and intelligible music is said. As dizzying as relentless. This sound is difficult to understand, as literally no one else has. But KVELERTAK has not only figured out how to make this chaos complete, they are eventually shocked to keep doing it after getting a whole new singer. Once the album begins to accelerate over who listens to it, it is when you can even stop noticing that something is different, and that’s why they gain recognition in our Metal world. Doubting an apparent setback in his career is like someone who wants to catch the sea in a hole in the sand, the eccentricity and vesania we have between us with this album, let’s delight with it.
Review by Pepe Cortez