A Record Review by Intertwit.com
Kvelertak – Splid
We don’t really do record reviews as such here at intertwit.com. Let’s face it we really don’t do much of anything to be honest but sometimes we are moved (and not just in the bowel region) to do a bit of typing because we like something a lot. So here’s a sort of record review\love in for the new Kvelertak album – Splid.
Intertwit.com has been keenly following Norwegian band Kvelertak since we saw the fabulous Trollhunter movie late one night on Film4. Over the closing credits of this Norwegian language film about mythical Nordic beasts and their hunting thereof came forth the utterly tremendous “Mjod” from the debut Kvelertak album. Click this link to have it undeniably confirmed that this is indeed a tremendous 2 and a half minutes of greatness worthy of closing any film eg. Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca or Dodgeball.
And since that point we’ve been pretty well hooked on these bunch of Nordic nutcases and thoroughly enjoyed their next albums, Meir (2013) & Nattesferd (2016). In fact we spent the 2016 intertwit.com Christmas party watching K’tak at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town and such was the joy that the band on stage infectiously imparted into the crowd that even we, at our advanced ages, ended up in the moshpit in a mess of mangled limbs, hair and beer.
The gig really hammered home the fact that Heavy Metal for all it’s dark, miserable and tortured appearance can also be joyously wondrous, life-affirming, fun (yes, fun) and downright thrilling!
So yes, we are fans of Kvelertak and it’d be safe to say that Kverlertak has a downright Kvelertak over us here at Intertwit Towers…did we mention that Kvelertak translates to “Stranglehold” in English?
Anyway, we were therefore very excited to see the release of Kvelertak’s 4th album Splid just a few weeks ago. Quite frankly, and obviously we are desperately biased, Splid is a towering achievement of metal\rock\punk and if there’s a better album to come in 2020 then it’s going to be a great year for heavy music.
In fact, so enamoured are we by Splid, we’d though we’d have a track-by-track breakdown to make sure we know what we’re talking about…
Rogaland is an area of Western Norway which contains the city of Stavanger where the band hail from. It’s also where an awful lot of Vikings used to hang out and go invading and marauding from. If our rudimentary Norwegian translation tools are anything to go by then Rogaland is a place to be enjoyed or avoided especially if you like\dislike “blodpudding”. Naturally we love it, vegetarians\vegans maybe ambivalent at best.
Musically it’s a natural set-opener as the three guitarists layer riff upon riff before recently appointed throat-warbler\chief shouter Ivar Nikolaisen weighs in with a concerted and forceful bark. It’s a great way to announce lift off we especially love the Lizzy harmonies at 4:28.
Crack of Doom (featuring Troy Sanders)
Insanely catchy and riffalicious this is a rare K’Tak track sung in English as we presume Mastodon’s Troy Sanders’ Norwegian isn’t all that great. Deserves to be a number 1 hit everywhere and a Eurovision winner.
This is a mental dizzying thrash, and you’ll feel like you’re falling downstairs for the first minute of Necrosoft. Google Translate doesn’t appear to be that great with Norwegian metal lyrics so we haven’t really a clue what’s going on here but after its 3 minutes has run its course you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by an upright piano which what we think happens 23 seconds in.
Splid means Discord. See what they did there?
This 2nd English sung tune has a real punky vibe and like all Ktak songs a brilliant singalong hook. More Lizzy-ish classic guitar takes over halfway and the whole thing rattles along at 90mph. Love the way this fades out with layers of interweaving guitars.
4.17. At 4 minutes 17 seconds into this song, the spirit of Malcolm Young is invoked and for the next 20 seconds Kvelertak are the greatest AC\DC tribute band the world has ever heard. It’s the lead in to a soaring and screaming crescendo for the remaining 2 minutes of Bratebann. Someone at the end says “f’kin hell” and why not.
Owls rock and indeed rule as this song undoubtedly proves. Previous singer used Erlend Hjelvik to wear an elaborate owl headmask on stage for quite a portion of the bands live performances and that would take some doing we would suggest. Fast rocking number.
Fanden Ta Dette Hull!
If anyone asks you what Kvelertak sound like then send them in the direction of Fanden Ta Dette Hull! This song encapsulates the spirit and ethos of the band in just under eight minutes. Classic rock combined with Classic 80’s Thrash invoking both Slayer and Metallica around 1986 and the riffs just get bigger and bigger until the ending implosion. Can’t wait to see this live.
A late 70’s inspired New Wave number is maybe what no one is expecting at this point in proceedings and some reviewers have compared Tevling to Message In A Bottle.
Let us tell you, if Sting had come up with something quite as good as this it may have stopped him disappearing up his own arse in the South American rainforests. And we like The Police.
A welcome curveball.
Stevnemøte Med Satan
Dating With Satan. It’s not a Channel 5 reality TV show but we suppose that’s only a matter of time.
In an album packed with great guitars, the shimmering piece from 2:45 – 3:15 is just bloody lovely.
Take a collective bow Maciek Ofstad, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Anders Mosness.
This opens with another lovely bloody guitar part and Ivar gives a nice display of crooning for the initial part of the song before some nice proggy melodies give way to a fairly frantic and fantastic 5 minutes which culminate in a back to the roots Black Metal crescendo. Oooof!
Ved Bredden Av Nihil
Another barnstormer to finish Splid and like the whole album it’s just made our Hjerte banke fortere. And when Ved Bredden Av Nihil fades out we are saddened so we just put it all on again.
We can’t say enough good things about this album and if you want to give it a listen then start here:
If you like this and we can’t see why you wouldn’t then go and see them as they are on tour in Europe right now. We can’t wait to go and see Kvelertak in a few weeks time at the Electric in Brixton. If you can get a ticket then crack on down there and look for us up the front!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2020.
The only thing that might make us change our minds though could be this…