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HARDWARES

KVELERTAK

Meir

(Roadrunner)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 8.5

It's a good thing Meir isn't KVELERTAK's first record. If it was, this Stavanger, Norway collective might not have made the massive, fire-on-fire impact that it did in 2010 and 2011 with its out of control self-titled debut. Kvelertak's initial LP is the stuff of manic-addled legend and, in its caustic, blackened-punk wake, it was completely conceivable, and probable even, that Kvelertak would write a follow-up that disappointed. So, yes, let's be honest, because we should be: Meir is a let down on first listen but the disappointment, one realises, is precisely because Meir is not the debut. And, like all other processes that necessitate human adaptability, Meir rewards greatly if you let it, the album still a loud, abrasive, attitude-obsessed record despite having the supreme misfortune of competing directly with its predecessor. Once Meir is listened to in its totality, an exacting singularity becomes very, very clear: four songs on Meir are on the incendiary level of the debut's greatest moments, and if the snarl and switchblade-to-the-skin immediacy of 'Snilepisk', 'Manelyst', 'Nekrokosmos' and 'Trepan' don't affect you, you might not be among the living, at all. All four songs are testaments to scathing truculence done immensely right, these tracks the sort of scorched hymns that THE HELLACOPTERS, TURBONEGRO, ENTOMBED and SCUM have circled in their own blaze-in-the-northern-sky stratospheres. First single 'Bruane Brenn' and album opener 'Apenbaring' are effective as well, both working as anthems to attitude (at dusk), Kvelertak tapping into the sort of sixth sense zeitgeist that comes rarely, and only for those with the don't give a fuck hedonism and candor of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 and TRIGGER EFFECT. Meir means 'more' in Norwegian and, even if this album isn't as spiked Jäger intoxicating as the debut, let's hope Kvelertak has meir on the way for, like, a decade to come.



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