When: Sun., April 21, 6:45 p.m. 2013
Kvelertak broke out big in the metal blogosphere with their devastating 2010 self-titled debut, not only because the power of their stalwart rock ’n’ roll can override language barriers—all the lyrics and titles are in Norwegian—but also because they incorporate crucial elements of Norwegian black metal (grinding blastbeats, tremolo picking) without alienating the less orthodox by wearing corpsepaint. The album panders to no one (or rather to everyone), throwing one big blowout party for the dudes wielding a giant beer bong on the porch and the dudes sacrificing a goat in the basement. The songs on the sextet’s recent second album, Meir (Roadrunner), are more intricate and at times more jagged than anything on Kvelertak—the three-guitar melodies occasionally layer classic rock, speed metal, blastbeats, and pub punk in a way that shouldn’t make so much sense—and when all the instruments land on the same chord and the drums drive forth under the gravelly wails of front man Erlend Hjelvik, the band sounds like the Four Horsemen at full gallop. The album is equal parts infectious, flaming licks (“Evig Vandrar”) and apocalyptic fire and brimstone (“Trepan”)—and there are more all-in choruses than you can shake a battle-ax at. —Kevin Warwick The Cancer Bats and Black Tusk open.