Monday, April 15, 2013

Kvelertak: Meir (2013)


I’ll spare you the pedantic lecture on the meteoric rise of Kvelertak, because everyone already knows it. I’ll skip to the question at hand: Can they capture lightning in a bottle a second time?

The band has not changed direction in the slightest, and I don’t think anyone expected them to. They are still Norway’s answer to Baroness, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and pure fun in metalpunk form (complete with the blackened touches inherent in their country’s DNA). They’re still loads of fun, they’re still high energy, and they still make you want to sing along despite the mother-tongue lyrics. But their debut was the result of saving up the best songs of their several years of existence without releasing any material, while the sophomore effort is the result of two years dedicated to touring the world. So, Meir is no Kvelertak, but it’s still worth the price of entry for those of us who’ve been losing our minds in anticipation.

This is where I’m tempted to go into a deeper analysis of the music, but you’ve already heard them before, and nothing’s changed. OK, the Mexican breakdown in “Snilepisk” is worth calling out as a special touch, but that kind of wonderful non sequitur is a given with these guys. In broad strokes, the first half of the album, filled with 3 or 4 minute songs, is by far the better half of the album. In the second half, they get up to 6 and a half or 9 minute songs, which is just not what Kvelertak is designed to do. It’s not that it gets to the point of dragging, but at some point it ceases to fill me with the pure joy that the first album did from start to finish.

In a sentence, Meir marks Kvelertak’s transition from a band with one mind-blowing album to a reliable touring band with a steady release schedule, which is what they always were at heart anyway.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment