Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! recently conducted an interview with Norwegian adrenaline pushers of heavy rock and roll KVELERTAK at the Roadrunner Records offices in New York City. You can now watch the chat below.
KVELERTAK's sophomore album, "Meir" (which means "more" in English), will be released on March 26 via Roadrunner. The CD was produced by CONVERGE's Kurt Ballou and features cover artwork by John Dyer Baizley.
"Meir"'s first single, "Bruane Brenn", has early critical acclaim from several tastemaker outlets including Stereogum, which raves, "It's a total blast of riffs, adrenaline, football chants, and guitar solos, and in its four minutes, you get five decades of rock ‘n' roll, compressed into one massive speedball hit."
KVELERTAK's euphorically-received self-titled 2011 debut was iTunes 2011's U.S. Metal Breakthrough Artist of The Year. Pitchfork described their sound as having "monolithic walls of adrenal-gland-strangling sound" while LA Weekly named frontman Erland Hjelvik #2 on their list of top ten metal frontmen (and women) under 30.
Overseas the band has racked up numerous accolades. KVELERTAK was called "the best Norwegian debut of all time" by Norwegian rock authority Asbjørn Slettemark, named "Best Debut Album" by Metal Hammer Germany, "Best New Artist" and "Best Rock Album" at the Spellemannprisen (Norway's Grammy equivalent) and has received countless additional critical acclaim from Metal Hammer U.K. and Kerrang! who called them "the most exciting new band on the planet."
From storming 2011's SXSW festival to being personally invited by MASTODON to support them in Bergen, Norway, to Dave Grohl presenting them with their first gold discs at a sold-out show at Telenor Arena, Norway's largest indoor venue, KVELERTAK, or "chokehold" in English, are only getting started.
With the explosive first single "Bruane Brenn" to the slowed down guitar crunching of "Evig Vandrar" to the brutally chaotic "Nekrokosmos", "Meir" is an album that certainly lives up to the hype of giving the listener "more." Tight rhythms, inventive guitar hooks and melodies that seep into your consciousness, this is an album that constantly surprises.
"It is both catchy and heavy; we're pushing our limits in both ends of that spectre. It's very varied and there are a lot of surprises in store. I mean, it's unlike anything I myself have heard before, so we even managed to surprise ourselves," said lead singer Erlend Hjelvik.
KVELERTAK is Erlend Hjelvik (vocals), Vidar Landa (guitars), Bjarte Lund Rolland (guitars), Maciek Ofstad (guitars), Marvin Nygaard (bass) and Kjetil Gjermundrød (drums).
"Meir" track listing:
02. Spring Fra Livet
04. Bruane Brenn
05. Evig Vandrar