Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Norway’s Kvelertak employs a similar sonic strategy to Diarrhea Planet, but the band’s name (which means Chokehold or Stranglehold – but the Norwegian Kvelertak sounds infinitely cooler, doesn’t it?) is nowhere nearly as burdensome. Nattesferd is the band’s third album, and (again like Diarrhea Planet) this time the band is busting out of L-seven with big production and a naked bid for mainstream success.

Sure, these guys come from a dark, cold place where Metal is spelled with a Kapital M. With its Norwegian heritage, Kvelertak is oftentimes lumped in with the black metal bunch. And sure, these guys are indeed influenced by black metal and have certainly put in their share of time listening to Mayhem and Emperor – but, more likely, to Darkthrone and, even more likely, to Turbonegro, and Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. And the Foo Fighters, even.

Just as on the first two albums, none of the lyrics of Nattesferd are in English – all to a good effect. I mean, the lyrics might be dumb – or at least a little corny. (On the liner notes, each song is in transcribed in Norwegian, accompanied by a brief description in English, such as “In a dark and grim forest warriors are preparing themselves by drinking blood from wolves and bears” [“Svartmesse”] or “The church was silent as the grave” [“Nattesferd”].) Without translation, it just sounds badass – but not in a scary way. The whole affair just seems like a great big, guitar-fueled expression of joy. It’s not inconceivable that this could even cross over into the semi-mainstream.