KVELERTAK @ The Underworld, Camden

Spread the metal:

KVELERTAK, Toxic Holocaust

@ The Underworld, Camden

Saturday November26, 2011

Review & Photography by Sabrina Dersel

The Underworld is sold out tonight so get ready for a ferocious mosh pit!

Heavy Metal Toxic Holocaust is a three piece band from Portland, Oregon USA.

Frontman Joel Grind merged his love for classic punk and metal into one sound, marking the birth in 1999 of TH.

Tonight marks the release of  ‘Conjure and Command’, the band’s long-awaited new full-length album, their fourth one to date.

For the past three of their releases, the music has been mostly, if not completely played by Joel Grind.


This time around, Grind rounds out his band with Philthy Gnaast (formerly of Canadian black/thrash band Rammer) and Nikki Rage (Kingdom Of Sorrow) on drums.

Their sound is full of blazing riffs, gravel-throated vocals, and a deadly fixation on the evil in man and a post-apocalyptic world. Joel Grind is a great frontman, nearly catching the show only for himself.

It ranged from a wide variety of acts, Discharge, Hellhammer, Bathory, Venom and Possessed just to name a few. This is good quality play and some catchy headbanging drums. Nicholas T. Rage is in charge, and as the drummer of Kingdom Of Sorrow with Hatebreed frontman Jasta, it is some serious loud and fast pace drumming.

The trio burns through many ferocious tracks, warming up the crowd perfectly for the Norwegian guys of Kvelertak;

Releasing their much anticipated debut album in 2010, Kvelertak are already well known in Norway for their furious live energy and catchy, melodic, metal-inspired punk rock. Outside Norway they are fairly unknown. But enough to fill up the venue to its maximum capacity. It is their first headliners show in The UK and Europe.

This is a brutally sound with catchy punk rock/metal elements with a taste of groovy darkness!

And that groovy darkness only manages to keep in the front row for a song and a half until im no longer able to take photos due to being crushed!

Mayhem is reigning the crowd who are going insane and ballistic, making it one of the craziest pits I’ve ever seen!

They open with “Sjøhyenar” :game is on! The six members occupy the ‘not big enough for them’ stage of the Underworld. Erlend Hjelvik on Vocals enjoys showing off his torso, running and screaming in his fans ears who can’t be closer to him, nearly invading the stage themselves.

The three guitarists, Bjarte Lund Rolland, Maciek Ofstad and Vidar Landa are showing why they won in March 2011 the two Spellemann Awards—a prestigious Norwegian music award similar to the American Grammy Award—for Best Newcomer and Best Rock Band. Kjetil Gjermundrød on Drums and Marvin Nygaard on Bass reinforce this.

Singing nearly exclusively in Norwegian, they go through the set list with songs like Blodtørst,Nekroskop, Ulvetid all full of relentless energy.

I managed to save my camera and escape to the photo area balcony by the side of the stage, having been issued with a photo-pass, only to be welcome by the most unhelpful and arrogant man;

After a few snaps he firmly asks me to move out of his way so he can see the band better. I  reply no and keep taking photos to catch this insane great band on playing. He insists saying it’s only 3 songs photos allowed, so I insist saying there is no limit as to shooting photos at the Underworld-Camden , I’ve been here battling and breaking my bones while taking photos many times to know this for a fact.

I ask him who he is anyway, he replies proudly “Their manager”!

He has that look that wants to make you feel small and meaningless… Well, I reply “trust me to write down our little conversation”  for people to know how you treat people who give up their free time to help spread the words and photos of bands to be enjoyed by as many people as possible!”

I ended up packing away my camera while he rushes off backstage, I have no idea if he was coming back, but anyhow I take out my camera out again and get a few snaps of the fearless drummer and some of the band members from the back and make my way out!

Despite this, it was a fantastic night! Kvelertak are definitely a band to discover if you haven’t already, and seeing them live is definitely an experience; they are madmen!