Sure Will Put You in a “Stranglehold”
It’s strange to think when kids nowadays delve into the archives of what will then be considered “old school” or classic metal. They’ll be looking at bands like, Carnifex to Killswitch Engage – neither of which fall into or even really touch on such components to which grown folks consider to be “classic.” The Iron Maiden’s and Judas Priest’s of the world are what had us rebelling in white high tops and studded jean vest. Yet, Norway’s Kvelertak, forming in 2010, sit on that fine line of relevance and nostalgia. With Nattesferd, these dudes not only bring that ’80s kegger party type of raging, but they further establish that metal doesn’t have to be about massive amounts of shredding, technical construction or overly demonic sentiments. Sometimes, you can just let that hair down, hold that beer up and let it be what it is.
Their track “1985” really drums up old memories. Going out to the county fair and getting stoned on the Ferris Wheel while undoubtedly watching the spew ensue from a bird’s eye view. That’s the thing about classic ’80s metal – it’s reminiscent of a very specific time in your life, recalling very specific moments likely surrounding drugs and sex. Kvelertak are in no way definitive of a classic metal band. By the time all these kids born in the mid 2000s are of age, the unapologetic rawness to their songs recalls a simpler time in the metal game, no matter how minutely complex they can be at times.
Even with all that sounds old, Nattesferd are definitely aware of what’s going on currently, or at least a few years ago when they formed. You’d swear there are parts of “Berserkr” you can two-step to, as if you were that little black box of a stage room at Soma in San Diego amidst a sea of “girl in the pit” hating crews. Kvelertak’s ability to stay the course of traditional style of heavy metal while incorporating more lighthearted factors, expands their general appeal.
On a weirder note, “Heksebrann” follows “Berserkr” with what has an almost J-Pop style vocal harmony. It’s strangely appealing, considering the obviously stark differences between the two styles. Then comes “Nekrodamus,” which ends the album with heavy Sabbath drenched string work, cumbrously calling its to bluesy elements.
Nattesferd could be considerably one of the best albums of the year so far. It has the ability to transform you into a fan, possibly even against your will. Nothing gets more metal than that.