Kvelertak “Splid” Review

Rise Records
Released : February 14, 2020

I can’t imagine anybody that is into extreme music not knowing about Kvelertak at this point. I refuse to believe that is at all possible. It can’t be.

This is the bands fourth record and by the second track, it has already well surpassed their third offering. It is known. I am pleased to say that “Splid” is on par with their first two albums. Those records are amazing. Which means this one is too. The third was, well, good. But. Yeah. Let’s leave it at that.

Just in case some have remained blissfully ignorant. Kvelertak are kings of the Hard Rock / Metal genre. Being that they’re from Norway, you bet your last buck they’ve taken influences from death and black metal too. The level of musicianship they have is also very Scandinavian. Which is to say ridiculously good. Seriously, is every kid in this region gifted musically?

This is also the debut recording with new singer Ivar Nikolaisen. Changing vocalists is always a scary endeavor. The voice of a band is often the one component of a musical project that is hard to swap about. Strings and drum beats can be reproduced. Vocals, not so easily.

See Also: Raised Fist “Anthems” Review

However, Ivar Nikolaisen seems to be the perfect fit for Kvelertak. He certainly molds well with the new songs. Live – I guess I’ll have to wait for this COVID-19 shitstorm to blow over to witness that. I imagine his voice will lend itself well to the back catalog too, though.

At times, I found myself having a Mandela effect moment. Was this guy in Turbonegro? I know he wasn’t but he really sounds like it at times. So much so that I hit up Google to be sure. Turns out he wasn’t. The only tie between the two bands I could find was their nationality. Or was he! You know, like the Bernstein bears.

“Splid”, in a word, is splendid. It works on every level. Has ferocious riffs and neck-wrecking grooves. Sweet passages and solid vocals. Even the artwork is perfect. Then again, it always is with these guys.

I’ll say it here first – this is my early top contender for album of the year.

For Fans Of  : Raised Fist, Mastodon, Doomriders
Track listing :
01. “Rogaland” 5:23
02. “Crack of Doom” (featuring Troy Sanders) 3:54
03. “Necrosoft” 3:00
04. “Discord” (featuring Nate Newton) 4:14
05. “Bråtebrann” 6:59
06. “Uglas Hegemoni” 3:33
07. “Fanden ta Dette Hull!” 7:51
08. “Tevling” 4:08
09. “Stevnemøte Med Satan” 4:29
10. “Delirium Tremens” 8:11
11. “Ved Bredden av Nihil”



Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability
Pros & Cons
  • Fantastic song writing
  • Beyond original
  • Good mix of styles
  • Groove laden
  • I need more
  • More! more!