Kvelertak is one of those bands who are able to expertly integrate a variety of different styles into their stunning enjoyable compositions. Combining black metal, '70s arena rock, hardcore and heavy rock, this band has a storied history of crafting masterful songs. Every one of the band's four previous records, going back to 2010's self-titled record, has been solid. With that, my expectations for Endling were high.
As I've had the chance to listen to Endling (tr. Ending) a number of times now I can say that this latest LP fits snugly in with their existing catalog. The second record with new lead singer Ivar Nikolaisen and drummer Havard Takle Ohr these Norwegian rockers again present us with a record that is heavy, groovy and just downright fun. Endling will get your attention from the opening note and hold it all the way through.
The first single, which is also the album's opener, is the super high energy track with the sing along chorus, "Kroterveg Te Helvete." You may not know what the words mean at all as they sing everything in Norwegian, but you can't but help yourself. Further, you'll be impressing everyone in your neighborhood strolling down the street as you sing out loud in a foreign language with your headphones on.
With three guitars, this band rocks hard. They're high energy and they know exactly when to hit the accelerator and when to back off. Though they don't really back off all that much. It's about how they manage time and all their instruments so that all have room in the mix to be heard. This is one of the signature aspects of Kvelertak and is apparent in well-developed songs like "Fedrekult (tr. Father Cult)" and "Likvoke (tr. Equalize)." The guitar tone on "Likvoke," by the way, is going to simply melt your face.
The band gives us a bit of an acoustic interlude with the beginning of "Svart September (tr. Black September)" before they move into this jangly garage rock number that would make even Jack White drool. While I have no idea what the song is about, it doesn't really seem to matter as I still adore it. We also get a bit of a Thin Lizzy vibe with "Skoggangr," which, yet again, has this crazy good sing along chorus.
The record's grand finale is the seven-plus minute "Morild (tr. Fire)." An amalgam of different sonic scapes, "Morild," feels like a adventurous journey through Southern Norway in the summer time with your best friends. With time for reflection, the song has lush arrangement and harmonies as well as plenty of space for the guitarists to do what they do best. Quite honestly, this band does three guitars better than Iron Maiden.
Kvelertak fans will love this record without any doubt. At the same time, if you haven't checked these guys out yet, you're really missing out.