on 19 July 2013
I loved Kvelertak's first album, mainly for the way they seemed to have an endless supply of immense riffs. A song would start off with a great riff and be going along nicely, then somewhere in the second half they'd explode into something else that was even better. I'm thinking about, for example, the transformations that happen in Ulvetid at 1min51, Fossegrim at 2min21, and the entire second half of Utrydd de svake.
Unfortunately there's not much of that in Meir. Don't get me wrong, it's a good album anyway (hence the 4 stars), but it just isn't as exciting. I also agree with a comment made in the review on Pitchfork: there are some missed opportunities, particularly Tordenbrak. It has a really great riff that feels like it needs to build and build until it ruptures into some kind of face-melting explosion that makes you want to rip off your pants and run around screaming, but that never happens. They play around with it for 9 minutes, but it never really changes, so what could've been an immense song is 'just' a very good one. It's kind of frustrating.
Anyway, it's still a good album, definitely worth the purchase, but I get the feeling that Kvelertak could deliver something unbelievable if they managed to hook everything up properly. Here's looking forward to the third album.
on 28 March 2013
I had no problems relating to this odd issue of the wrong music... it's recognisable as Kvelertak alright!
There have been complaints that it isn't quite as immediate as their debut but I think that's understandable; no record in recent memory has blown me away and exhilarated me from first listen quite like "Kvelertak".
But it only takes a couple of spins to appreciate that all the elements are here and it gradually reveals itself to be every bit as brilliant as the debut. Great production again from Kurt Ballou. Favourites so far are "Trepan", the class rock infused "Evig Vandrar" and the ridiculously catchy eponymous closer.
They've still got me in a chokehold, no maybes about that.
on 18 January 2014
I think many reviewers have picked up on this - Meir is a perfectly good album, with aggressive playing, great riffs and even the odd good tune. There's only one problem - Kvelertak's first album is better in every way. Meir lacks the precision of playing, the wild inventiveness and the sheer energy of the debut. Even the production of Meir sounds flat and two-dimensional when compared with the first album. Kvelertak have set the bar so high that it would be a miracle if they could ever top that debut - which in my opinion is the best hard rock album I've heard in the last 10 years. If you're new to Kvelertak, buy Meir first - you will love it. Then buy the debut and prepare to have your socks knocked off.
on 14 May 2013
if anyone's bothered i did a proper review of this on my music blog :
but anyway, kvelertak are amazing, this album is slightly darker and more... interesting? than their self titled one, it's less punchy, but still absolutely raging. buy it.
on 12 April 2013
Four days in and I find it hard to stop listening to this album. Offering perhaps even greater depth than the first album, and I was totally blown away by that. Layers of riffs, every bar offers something memorable, and heavy heavy heavy just when you need it. Those Scandies know what's what... Shame they didn't play more UK gigs last month - can you come back?
on 12 May 2013
Kvelertak should suck. I mean, "blackened hardcore punk". C'mon! I don't do 'core'. But when I eventually gave in and gave them a chance, my only regret was not listening to them sooner. While the lyrics are completely unintelligible 95% of the time, the guitardriven music is so irresistibly groovy and infectious, that I find myself not caring that I can't hear what the songs are about. And that, to me, is rare. "Meir" is certainly a step up from their eponymous debut, with songs like "Trepan" and "Bruane Brenn" with its catchy clean-sung chorus providing the highlights.
Kvelertak are an anomaly. A sweaty, loud and rude anomaly. I don't know if they deserve all the hype, but most of it anyway.
"Eg sa... Kvelertak!"