Jonathan Hill Dot EU

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Kvelertak Nattesferd Review

General Information:

Artist: Kvelertak
Album: Nattesferd
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Hard Rock, Punk Rock
Released: 2016
Length: 47 minutes
Language(s): Norwegian
Label(s): Roadrunner

Track List:

01. Dendrofil for Yggdrasil
02. 1985
03. Nattesferd
04. Svartmesse
05. Bronsegud
06. Ondskapens Galakse
07. Berserkr
08. Heksebrann
09. Nekrodamus

Kvelertak Nattesferd Cover

Kvelertak Nattesferd Cover

Kvelertak Nattesferd Review

Nattesferd is the third studio album by Norwegian rock band Kvelertak. While they have been referred to as a black metal/rock hybrid in the past it is hardly relevant to Nattesferd because Dendrofil for Yggdrasil is the only black metal song, along with part of Berserkr, on the entire album. Almost everything else is broadly hard rock or punk rock filtered through the lo-fi aesthetic of black metal with a vomitus vocal style spraying all over the music. The lyrics all happen to be in Norwegian and given how they’re delivered it is questionable how intelligible they are, even to a native speaker.

After opening with a black metal song, Kvelertak immediately shifts to hard rock and then alternates between that and punk rock up to and including Ondskapens Galakse. The fusion and alternation of all these different elements is novel but in practice comes across as disjointed (and arguably unfocused) despite the sincerity and passion that the band clearly possesses. The vocal style doesn’t suit any of the hard rock songs and they detract from the experience since songs in this subgenre tend to sound powerful and spirited, whereas this leaves you lacklustre and wanting an actual singer that could have really made the songs into something special.

Berserkr, as the name implies, goes all out with the aggression and wild experimentation in which they blend all three styles into a single song. The majority of the song is black metal meets punk rock and from the bridge onwards the hard rock influences seep back in. To Kvelertak’s credit this is pulled of remarkably well and is certainly a highlight of Nattesferd, as is Bronsegud, a short and punchy hardcore punk flavoured song where the vocal style seems to fit almost naturally.

The last two songs on the album, Heksebrann and Nekrodamus, are almost yin and yang to each other. Heksebrann is a curveball at 9 minutes long while drawing on progressive rock and having a large instrumental section lasting about 4 minutes at the beginning. This contrasts with Nekrodamus, which continues the Kvelertak tradition of having “Nekro” in a song title, and is the complete antithesis of Heksebrann. This song sees hard rock stripped back to the basics and is much slower compared to the other songs, which once again take the listener in an unexpected direction, but is a bit longer than it needs to be.

It’s always good to hear a band perform in their native language and for anyone to embrace the spirit of rock wholeheartedly to the same extent that Kvelertak does. However, the scattershot approach to writing for several subgenres is often inconsistent and they seem to rely on the unpolished aesthetics and consistent use of harsh vocals to add a cohesive thread to the album.

Performers:

Erlend Hjelvik: Vocals
Vidar Landa: Guitar
Bjarte Lund Rolland: Guitar, Piano
Maciek Ofstad: Guitar, Vocals
Marvin Nygaard: Bass
Kjetil Gjermundrød: Drums

External Links:

Kvelertak Homepage
Kvelertak on Wikipedia
Nattesferd on Wikipedia

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Against All Authority The Restoration of Chaos and Order Review

Against All Authority The Restoration of Chaos and Order Review

Artist: Against All Authority
Album: The Restoration of Chaos and Order
Genre(s): Rock
Subgenres(s): Hardcore Punk, Punk Rock
Released: 2006
Length: 38 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Hopeless Records

Track List:

01. The Restoration of Chaos and Order
02. Sweet Televised Destruction
03. All Ages Show Tonight
04. Collection Scars
05. Radio Waves
06. Silence is Golden But Duct Tape is Silver
07. Shut it Down
08. Sunshine Fist Magnet
09. I Just Wanna Start a Circle Pit
10. War Machine Breakdown
11. Grinding My Life Away
12. The Production of Self Destruction
13. Buried Alive
14. Best Enemies

Against All Authority The Restoration of Chaos and Order Cover

The Restoration of Chaos and Order is the final album by punk rockers Against All Authority. The band has shed off almost all of their former ska punk influences with the exception of a handful of ska rhythms and a trumpet on Radio Waves and Best Enemies whereas some of their older material made use of a larger brass section consisting of a trumpet, trombone and saxophone.

Against All Authority are still as furious as ever and with the removal of almost all of the ska punk influences they have decided to stick to what they know and struck a fantastic balance of straight ahead punk rock and the more aggressive hardcore punk sound that they slip in and out of with little effort.

Danny Lore’s has improved on his vocal performance a fair bit since the release of their previous studio album Nothing New for Trash Like You in 2001. He still sings in a familiar throaty voice but he is much easier to understand and the band has a way of getting you to pay attention to what he has to say over everything.

The lyrics tend to focus on social/political commentary, the highs and lows of life as well as more specific subjects like the murder of Brian Deneke on Sunshine Fist Magnet and what the spirit of the punk rock scene is supposed to be on Shut it Down.

Against All Authority broke up in 2007, ending their 15 year run on a high note and truly showing how far you can stretch 3 chords and 6 strings without throwing in a single piece of redundant material.

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Dropkick Murphys Signed and Sealed in Blood Review

Artist: Dropkick Murphys
Album: Signed and Sealed in Blood
Genre(s): Folk, Rock
Subgenres(s): Folk Rock, Hardcore Punk, Punk Rock
Released: 2013
Length: 41 minutes
Language(s): English
Label(s): Born & Bred Records

Track List:

01. The Boys Are Back
02. Prisoner’s Song
03. Rose Tattoo
04. Burn
05. Jimmy Collins Wake
06. The Seasons Upon Us
07. The Battle Rages On
08. Don’t Tear Us Apart
09. My Hero
10. Out on the Town
11. Out of Our Heads
12. End of the Night

Dropkick Murphys Signed and Sealed in Blood Cover

Dropkick Murphys Signed and Sealed in Blood Review

Signed and Sealed in Blood is the Dropkick Murphys 8th album overall and if you’re familiar with their previous output then you’ll already have a rough idea of what you’re in for. But for those not in the know, the septet mixes bagpipes, acoustic guitars, whistles and accordions among other instruments with the standard punk rock format of guitar, bass and drums to forge an unforgettable and explosive listening experience.

Sonically, the majority of the songs are still firmly rooted in the folk punk style that they have become known for, but this time around there seems to be a stronger emphasis on creating the most glorious gang shouts and infectious hooks possible. The album features a few folk-centric songs that bring the folk instrumentation to the centre of the stage and Out on the Town even allows for a chirpy whistling break mid-song. All of this makes for a subtle, yet noticeable change in composition that allows the band to retain their trademark attitude and personality, all while branching out enough to keep their well-defined style fresh and interesting.

The vocals are clearly sung, spluttered, shouted, bellowed and chanted by 6 of the 7 band members over the course of the album. Lyrics tend to revolve around drinking, celebrating, unity and situations in life as told through fictional characters. The best example of this is in The Seasons Upon Us, a sarcastic caricature of a dysfunctional family that recounts their miserable annual Christmas gathering and is guaranteed to leave you grinning. It’s worth noting that while being a Christmas song, albeit unconventional, the way in which the lyrics are written make it timeless so that it can enjoy at any time of the year and not just when the Christmas season comes around.

The band tones back the cacophony on occasion but they rarely slow down the tempo significantly. The exception to this trend is End of the Night, a somewhat sombre sounding song that lets the listener know that the album is coming to its end. It features a rare appearance of the piano, not the most commonly used instrument in their arsenal, which is also used on Don’t Tear Us Apart to create a memorable opening and makes another small appearance later during the bridge.

Signed and Sealed in Blood is packed full of memorable choruses, catchy hooks and a passionate, energetic performance that blends 2 distinct genres, several singing styles and a variety of instruments into just over 40 minutes, which prevents it from overstaying its welcome. It will keep you coming back for more listen after listen and because of this, it could already be on its way to becoming one of the best albums of 2013.

External Links:

Dropkick Murphys Homepage
Dropkick Murphys on Wikipedia | Signed and Sealed in Blood on Wikipedia
Dropkick Murphys on Discogs | Signed and Sealed in Blood on Discogs