Kvelertak came in as a breath of fresh air with their debut and the follow-up was a killer album. Now with this third one they fall in the category of established act. The first two brought something new to the table; there was metal, there was rock, there was black metal, thrash metal, and at times party rock. Now, we know what they do, we recognize their style and it doesn’t seem as exciting anymore.
Some of the songs almost seem formulaic now, but there is a slight shift towards a more radio friendly sound. Best example is the fun, bluesy, poppy lead single 1985. The guitarsound is very reminiscent of eighties poprock, I’m thinking Billy Idol or maybe Permanent Vacation-style Aerosmith.
The opening track Dendrofil for Yggdrasil is everything Kvelertak is known for. A great mesh of hard, extreme vocals, melodic guitar and a pounding rhythm section. Nekrodamus, oh a marvelous play on words, is in the same vane. Svartmesse is somewhere in the middle of radio friendliness and the classic Kvelertak sound.
There are a couple of tracks that don’t quite hold up for me, Berserkr, Bronsegud and Ondskapens Galakse. There’s nothing there for me to hang on to. Especially Berserkr seems a bit slippery, the riff is quite good, but the song just slithers away and then suddenly stops, and it’s over.
Favorite track is the titletrack, Nattesferd. The chorus is great and I can’t wait to belt it out when I see them live the next time. Most importantly the riff and the rhythm just melts together and pounds away, unstoppable. I love it.
I feel that this album is weaker than the two preceding it, but again I think it’s because they’re more of an established act, with an established sound and style. It seems to me to be a bit milder than before. I have mentioned radio friendliness a few times, but it’s still not friendly enough to actually be played on most stations. It’s a hard rocking mashup of metal and hard rock. Well worth the time and money, I got the clear vinyl gatefold edition, nice!
Recommended tracks: Nattesferd, 1985, Dendrofil for Yggrdrasil, Nekrodamus