The already-well-established Norwegian heavy rock band Kvelertak keep the excitingly fresh, dynamic drama going on their new album Splid, meaning Discord, which is available this February (on Valentine’s Day, actually) via Rise Records. The music feels like some super solid, noisy, and sometimes metal-edged psych rock that’s been amplified to the point where all of the captivating intricacies get to jump out via the band’s seriously energetic performances.
The whole album feels ready to have listeners’ sing-along chants and fist-pumps join the music, but calling Kvelertak just a rock band wouldn’t do justice for the sheer breadth of their always-energetic and cohesive sound.
The album includes some forays into blast beat drumming like those of the thickest black metal, breakneck-paced melodies that feel ripped from the most exhilarating punk rock, and, above all, an always-present, exciting core of the band members sounding like they’re having a heckuva good time that listeners are all invited along for. The musical party often feels extremely intense, but it’s a party nonetheless.
The maniacally intense performances really crack open the fun here. And Splid is truly fun, whether or not you even know Norwegian, the language that many of the lyrics are in.
The riffs lay on thick, but Kvelertak have also got a perfectly orchestrated, somewhat flippant, attitude to their performances that reveals the freeing catharsis at the core of these songs.
Nobody around this record feels held back. It’s like the musical equivalent of some ominously chained figure ripping off their bonds and triumphantly escaping or at least somehow prevailing through their captivity. Here, the captivity is the sociopolitical discord of the world, which the band have said they used as a reference point for lyrics and themes.
Kvelertak never get bogged down by that discord, though. Even judging just off the music itself, the band are always about finding an energetic way through the noise rather than getting stuck in it. Their rhythms are luscious, powerful, and often very catchy, and their vocals range from passionate yells to softer, choral singing in a perfect reflection of their musically expressed, dynamic, and personal path forward. The album ends with some super memorable, jumpy barrages of music that ensure this band’s latest impression lingers for a long while.