Also the artwork is rad, its the same dude who did the artwork for Baroness, Cursed, and a shit ton of other bands. With similar cover art by Baroness' John Baizley, it's almost a companion piece of sorts to the first record, albeit a full three years removed. So, will Meir make Kvelertak one of the biggest metal bands on the planet? This band is not able to be put into words what they are. It's arguably the best thing on the album, but it comes seven songs into the track listing, following which Kvelertak finally unveil a trio of extended workouts that recapture some of that devil-may-care experimentalism of the first record. Unfortunately, I don't think so.
They are from Norway, obviously from the track listing. I would advise trying this one out. They are so many genres thrown into one, its crazy but so damn good. Hopefully it won't take another three years to right the ship. There are probably a dozen metal sub-genres represented in some capacity over the course of Meir's fifty minutes, and whilst you might expect black metal and stoner rock, or folk metal and hardcore punk to coexist about as happily as hungry dogs squabbling over a dropped steak sandwich, they actually end up playing very nicely together. Although it lacks the element of surprise that boosted the debut's stock, Meir is a better, stronger, more accessible record overall; however, while kudos is due to new paymasters Roadrunner for allowing the band to use the same producer and even the same cover artist Baroness' John Baizley as before, they might have missed a trick by not insisting they throw a few choruses into the mix for non-Scandinavian fans to scream along to. You'd be hard pressed to find a metal band more hyped than Kvelertak in the last two years.
Nobody could question the fact that these guys mean it with every fibre of their being, and Meir is music to make Norway proud; a new majestic fanfare to welcome hog-riding warriors into Valhalla. Are American frat-boys really going to flock to download an album by a band whose name they can't pronounce, whose lyrics they can't understand and whose artwork suggests some kind of Game Of Thrones-fantasy over the English-speaking likes of Darkthrone or close spiritual cousins Turbonegro? Unlikely, but will Kvelertak give a flying fart? Meir is hardly a disaster but it regrettably falls short of the potential exhibited on the first Kvelertak album. The band's live reputation became so formidable that it almost seemed like an afterthought when a follow up record was finally announced late last year. . Also these dudes throw out some super catchy and groovy riffs. By spreading these three songs out the band may have positioned the album as successfully multifaceted, but by burying them on the back nine they are rendered less a palliative and more patience-wearing. Erlend Hjelvik continues to be an engaging vocalist, and Kurt Ballou's production is predictably superb, but it's hard to believe it took three guitarists to come up with the middling, one dimensional riffs on display throughout a good chunk of the running order.
The Norse wild-men have thrown together a whole bunch of influences - some heavy, some not so much - that really shouldn't gel as well as they end up doing here and magically turned them into brain-meltingly brilliant hard rock party anthems. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . . . .