By Mike Delano
Kvelertak are roaring back after their incredible 2010 debut, and their confidence shows on Meir. The Norwegians are a little more interested in pushing some different sounds, and even if some of them stand in stark contrast, they all work in context. “Trepan” kicks off with some unfiltered black metal riffing and “Snilepisk” features their most sinister-sounding riff yet, but without missing a beat they can drop in a laid-back guitar solo in the middle of “Bruane Brenn” that wouldn’t sound out of place in an Oasis song (fear not, it’s flanked by the band’s regularly-scheduled guitar buzz napalm). Of course, what made their debut so special was the barreling rock ‘n’ metal ‘n’ hardcore ‘n’ roll sound that seemed to flow so naturally and effortlessly from them, and that’s still the meat of this album as well. There’s nothing quite as ridiculously stick-to-your-brain catchy as “Utrydd Dei Svake” on Meir, but what’s here is plenty sticky regardless. Everything just swings like the best music does, and, except for a 20-minute, three-song run toward the end where they stretch out their sound a little too far, it’s got that condensed swagger that is quickly becoming the band’s trademark.