Released: 2011, Indie Recordings
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I’ve gotta be missing something here, surely. When Norway’s Kveletertak released their self-titled debut last year, it was all the rage. Metal journalists and musicians alike couldn’t seem to get enough of these guys, with the album making it onto numerous year-end top ten lists and the band’s name becoming synonymous with everything that was new, hip, and ready to rock your world. When I first heard the album last year, I thought it was interesting but nothing really special to write home about. Punk rock rhythms driven by a black metal engine (think Turbonegro without the corpse paint), the band’s upbeat and raucous delivery is certainly entertaining for a few listens but I’ve been hard pressed to understand the hype.
In one of those “but wait…there’s more!” moments, Indie Records has recently released a limited edition CD/DVD special edition of KVELERTAK. Giving the album another day in court, my opinion on the band’s sound hasn’t changed. It’s fun the way that the first couple songs on an Andrew W.K. record are fun; you get pumped up and ready to go, but then you see that there’s a really good Law & Order:SVU rerun on right now, and you decide that you’d rather spend the next hour with Benson and Stabler instead.
But as a special edition package, it’s a pretty good deal. In addition to the album’s original 11 tracks, you get a handful of live tracks from the band’s BBC sessions, some demos, 3 music videos, 3 live videos, a poster, and a coupon for a free pizza. Okay so maybe not the pizza coupon, but you get the idea – the band’s given you your money’s worth with this one. I enjoyed the live and demo tracks more than their studio counterparts, as there’s some definite energy in these performances that gets lost somewhere in the studio mix. That being said, I’m sure these guys are a blast to watch live, especially after a few adult beverages, so credit where credit is due.
So there you have it. If you weren’t sold before, you probably won’t be now. But if you’re a Kvelertak fan, this should be a no-brainer purchase. So many “special editions” are hastily repackaged cash-ins with a cheezo selling point like, “enhanced artwork.” But that ain’t the case here, as KVELERTAK is a definite fan focused package. But it’s limited to a run of 5,000 copies, so get ‘em while they’re hot kids.