“We’re right here to occasion, to not struggle!” – Phrases from authentic Kvelertak vocalist Erlend Hjelvik as he calmed frenzied followers down throughout their last-minute present in Salt Lake Metropolis in 2012 after a number of fights broke out throughout their set.
Kvelertak‘s self-titled first album went gold in Norway – and enjoyable truth – Dave Grohl offered the members of Kvelertak with that very gold document. It could additionally rating the band two Spellemannprisen Awards in 2011 (suppose Norway’s model of the Grammy Awards) for Greatest Newcomer and Greatest Rock Band. Two years later Kvelertak would give us Meir–a boisterous, “black and roll ” document that embraces punk and black steel with a smile on its face. The band has beforehand described themselves as “brutally catchy punk rock/steel band with a style of groovy darkness.” A fairly tight technique to sum up the general euphoric sound of Meir and Hjelvik throaty vocals sung in Kvelertak‘s native tongue. Meir was a game-changer for followers of Norwegian black steel and shortly the U.S. would catch Kvelertak-fever and the one treatment was extra Kvelertak.
Meir was recorded in Witch-Metropolis aka, Salem, MA at GodCity Studio some 3,326 miles from Kvelertak‘s residence of Stavanger, Norway. Run by Kurt Ballou of Massachusetts legends Converge, Ballou apparently grew to become conscious of Kvelertak after coming throughout their “weird” identify which occurs to be the Norwegian phrase for stranglehold. According to Kvelertak guitarist Maciek Ofstad, the band actually wished to work with Ballou in order that they emailed him in 2009 actually saying “hey, we’re Kvelertak from Norway and we need to document an album with you, is that cool?” and included a demo tape.
Ballou would reply to the e-mail with the phrases “fuck sure, let’s do that.” Clearly, Ballou had additionally caught Kvelertak fever and would document Kvelertak‘s first document–one thing the band filmed themselves for a twenty-minute documentary in February of 2010. The choice to document within the U.S. may seem to be it makes zero monetary sense for a band from Norway. Nevertheless, in line with Hjelvik, it was just about the identical worth as participating the companies of a “super expensive” Norwegian producer.
Kvelertak would return to Salem to document Meir, an album that broke away from songs impressed by their Norse tradition and myths on their debut. As a substitute, Hjelvik (who together with major lyricist Bjarte Lund Rolland wrote the lyrics for Meir), drew from a fascination with trepanning–the oldest recognized surgical process on the planet. The process, (also called trephination or burr holing) includes the drilling and excision of a round piece of bone from the human cranium.
Different themes embrace operating away out of your payments and the “large metropolis” in addition to exploring darker subjects just like the “antichrist popping out of a black gap” to invade Earth. No large deal. The buoyancy of Meir will smack you within the face whereas it tells you that you’re doomed to stroll the Earth alone. The eleventh monitor on the album, “Kvelertak” is actually an anthemic nod to the band themselves. Let’s dive shortly into Meir‘s album’s booklet that comprise descriptions of what the songs are about and that Hjelvik was severe about writing a jam about drilling a gap in your head:
- “Åpenbaring” (Revelation) – A feather clad man breaks into your cranium. He has such sights to indicate you!
- “Trepan” – Trepanning is a surgical intervention wherein a gap is drilled into the human cranium, releasing evil spirits.
- “Snilepisk” (Snailwhip) – This darkish tyrant’s whip is made from hair and flesh. He’ll go away scars throughout the land.
- “Nekrokosmos” (Necrocosmos) – A inexperienced meteor of iron strikes the graveyard. An intergalactic traveler gained’t go away till every thing round him is lifeless.
Positive, darkish tyrants, meteors, and getting your cranium damaged into aren’t precisely gentle subjects, and they need to be anticipated from a band with black steel constructing blocks. So how did Kvelertak make Meir sound so euphoric whereas telling you the moonlight will possess you and make you evil? It is all about apply, buddies. And having the drive to create one thing that breaks out of an outlined style with out apology. After all, it does not harm that the Norwegian authorities offers support grants to bands particularly to fund their excursions.
So far as the idea that apply makes excellent, by 2013, Kvelertak had already toured the U.S. 3 times to crowds that solely obtained much more frenzied every time Kvelertak got here by. I noticed them twice and may vouch for the truth that the second present was much more wild (and at a a lot greater venue), than the primary one–and that is saying one thing. Kvelertak believes band taking part in stay as a lot as potential, is what helps them hold transferring ahead. That is why Kvelertak performed 300 live gigs in help of Kvelerak and over 200 extra in help of Meir.
When Meir was launched ten years in the past its album cowl as soon as once more featured the compelling paintings John Dyer Baizley, the vocalist and guitarist for Baroness. There have been a number of vinyl variants together with one pressed in crimson, blue and white– the colours of the Norwegian flag.
Meir obtained a repress in 2016 by Indie Recordings in Oslo, Norway. Two extra repressings would observe in 2018 (purple vinyl/gatefold) and 2019 (180 gram gatefold), in addition to a 2021 gatefold reissue on orange and purple splatter. So there are heaps of choices on the market for you if Meir is lacking out of your document assortment. Listening to it ten years later solely helps solidify what a stable document Meir is. I imply, Kerrang! called Kvelertak the “finest Norwegian band since A-Ha,” and I am right here to let you know I am not going to disagree with Kerrang! on that one.
Talking of listening to Meir, let’s just do that as loudly as potential.
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