@ Electric Ballroom, London
14th March 2013
Review by Lily Randall
Photography by Michelle Murphy
With the weather across the UK reaching sub-zero temperatures, what would be more fitting for a midweek gig than a trio of Scandinavian delights?
The Electric Ballroom in Camden is quite a step up in size since Kvelertak’s last adventure over here, but the hype around the band’s upcoming album ‘Meir’ has managed to fill it to the brim by the end of the night.
With Kvelertak fusing such an array of influences from various different sub-genres, it was difficult to predict what kind of bands would wake up such a mixture of fans in the audience. Both appear to take a more sludgey approach which seems a little sedate for whats to come later on in the night but an interesting exhibition of Scandinavian metal nonetheless.
The first wakeup call comes in the bizarre form of El Doom & The Born Electric, whose tunes ooze with Clutch-esque tendencies and seventies sleaze.
The eclectic nature of their progressive music is topped off by Ole Andreassen’s frontman swagger, cowboy hat and all. And for all those who were in attendance this evening – he is not the father of a Kvelertak member; this was clearly a weird Norwegian banter attempt that fell on its arse.
Truckfighters’ guitar tones swell through the Electric Ballroom like a haze of green smoke, as their stoner rock proves accessible to the majority of spectators here.
The Swedes may not be the most charismatic of bands to compete with such a headliner tonight but at least it means everyone can save their energy for when it’s truly needed, which is during Kvelertak’s set.
With a live track record known to knacker you out within minutes, the Norwegian sextet grace the stage pumped up and ready to go, with vocalist Erlend Hjelvik donning the iconic owl head piece.
Its shortly removed due to the raw energy on the stage, as all of the members take advantage of a large venue with such contagious enthusiasm that it isn’t long before the crowd is bouncing along to the likes of ‘Mjød’ and ‘Fossegrim’.
The tremolo riffs from their blackened edge are the perfectly unique twist to their punk/hardcore sound and it becomes apparent this style will continue to slay as new tracks from anticipated album ‘Meir’ showcase the same fun attitude with tints of grimness.
‘Braune Brenn’ is a prime example, as it has the singalong chant capability [well, if you know Norwegian that is] and although three guitarists isn’t exactly necessary for the most part, it adds to the live dynamics.
The reception closer and favourite ‘Blodtorst’ confirms that Kvelertak are one of few bands that can force a smile from a black metal fan with their party resonance and for that we salute them!.