I’ve been looking forward to writing this review for awhile now. I got into Kvelertak a few years ago when their first self-titled record came out and I fell in love with them. Now they have a new one out and they’re back to melt some faces!
THE RECORD: Kvelertak Meir Roadrunner Records 2013
Wow, just wow. Oh wait- before you put this record on, you might want to get a better look at the artwork. If it looks familiar, it’s another stunning piece from the wonderful John Dyer Baizley, the painter who is also the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Baroness. It’s not just in the artwork that Kvelertak collaborates with a prominent member of the metal community; Meir was produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou, whom the band toured with last fall.
Kvelertak is one of the most fun metal bands in my book and their latest release does not disappoint. The album opens with “Apenbaring” that has a killer riff that starts off a little slower, but quickly brings in the vocals with full force. The fast, blast-beat punctuated tempo continues to go strong in “Spring Fra Livet”. The songwriting is something just about everyone, or at least everyone reading this beer blog, can relate to- being hungover and “getting your ass home” as frontman Erlend Hjelvik puts it. The title translates to “run for your life” in Norwegian, and I’m not sure if they were thinking of “Run To the Hills” by Iron Maiden while writing it, but I can’t help wonder if it crossed their minds.
“Bruane Brenn” has got more upbeat rock and roll aspects to it, while still maintaining that punch-to-the-gut feeling found when the double bass pedal kicks in. There is a video for this song as well which you can see below- and features child-versions of all the band members.
They even named a song after themselves on this record. “Kvelertak” is the last track on the record and keeps it slow and heavy for the end. The last few seconds end it abruptly, which only make you hungry for more.
Every song is hook-laden, whether it’s a chorus or a riff, or something else that will get stuck in your head all day. The lyrics are again all sung in Norwegian, but it definitely has yet to stop me from singing along anyway.
The sound of this record is not much different from the previous one, but in this case, that’s a great thing. Now that they’re on Roadrunner Records, this record will definitely grab the attention of people that might not have been on the radar of the first one.
THE BREW: 3Beans Coffee Porter- Sixpoint Brewing- Brooklyn, NY
I think coffee and beer have a lot in common, actually. The way the senses all come into play to discover the taste profile and different aromas involved work similarly when tasting beer and coffee. So I’ve found coffee beers to be among the most complex of styles. That said, Sixpoint has a really winner with this one. Some may argue, but I love that their beers are in cans. They’re different than your average tallboys too- the can itself is skinny, and I think that really works well for 3Beans in particular since it brings to mind caffeine or coffee drinks that might come in the smaller, skinny can.
It’s a big beer, ABV-wise, at 10%. However, it’s incredibly smooth. I have generally drank this beer more often from the can than on draft. But it pours like a cup of black coffee, with a thin, cream-colored head. Smells like your favorite coffee shop first thing in the morning. Subtle carbonation, it’s definitely a nice end-of-the-night beer to enjoy, although I think it’s perfectly drinkable any time.
To be honest, my dream pairing with this record would be with Kvelerbrau, a one-time beer that was made for the band for a show they did in Vienna. But since it seems that I won’t be able to drink it anytime soon, I went for the delicious 3Beans. Like Kvelertak, Sixpoint is a fairly new (formed in 2004) brewery that’s doing big things quickly. The fact that they brew in cans makes their beers easily accessible and much safer to consume at a metal show. I broke my nose last time I saw Kvelertak but I’m certainly happy that it was not from getting hit in the face with a pint glass.
It’s an easy beer to drink, but definitely packs a punch from the high ABV. I think that describes Kvelertak pretty well too- catchy hooks that are easy to get in to, but with a heavy, in-your-face quality.
The band will be touring this spring with the Cancer Bats and Black Tusk, which is going to rule. Check our tourdates here.