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Album Review: Kvelertak - Meir

25 March 2013 | 11:28 am | James Dawson

This album is without a doubt one of this year’s best punk albums and, considering it isn’t in English, is testament to the band’s songwriting prowess.

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Kvelertak's first album was an intense burst of guitar awesome. The band's second release is once again in their native Norwegian tongue, and without knowing what the hell the singer is squawking about, the sentiment is pretty obvious – he's not as pissed off as last time. Hell, there are even a few moments early on in the album that are reasonably poppy with some amazing accessible guitar riffs, like the boppy Spring Fra Livet. Yet it's the opening track, Apenbaring, that really sets the scene for what is to follow, and after a long guitar introduction the band finally catches up and unleashes one of the meatiest riffs devised this year.

Kvelertak maintain their hybrid metal/punk genre-defying guitar antics, complete with frenetic speed sections and guitar-shredding moments. However, it's the band's unfailing sense of rhythm that is their crowning achievement. When the six-piece are locked into a hammering riff, everything just fits into place flawlessly. There's also the acoustic-inspired track, Evig Vandrar, which is a party anthem, while Snilepisk is an old-school belter and the band's title track, Meir, combines their impeccable rhythm, punk ethos and melodic passages to perfectly sum them up in one track.

Meir is Kvelertak at the top of the game, giving their all bar none. Each track herein is a guide on how to create a bitchin' rock record, without the pomp. This album is without a doubt one of this year's best punk albums and, considering it isn't in English, is testament to the band's songwriting prowess.