A Bit Kvelerflat

Kvelertak are often rightfully considered one of the most ferocious live acts in heavy music at the moment which has caused the likes of Metallica to bring them out on a full scale European jaunts. With this level of attention shining bright over Kvelertak it's impossible to say that their latest record Nattesferd (released in 2016) put a halt to their momentum but it almost certainly marked a turning point for the band both musically and aesthetically. In comparison to their first two records the reception was mixed but they always had their live show in their back pocket. Around midway through 2018, vocalist Erlend Hjelvik called it quits and the band recruited in Ivar Nikolaisen, so with this being their first date in London since the change how much of an impact would it have on their infamous live show?

Well, definitely enough of one for it to be somewhat distracting. Ivar's certainly got buckets of energy, he spent about 70% of the show launching himself in to the crowd for one thing but as a vocalist he just doesn't quite capture that snarling, spiteful, vicious tone of his predecessor. Visually too it felt weird watching Ivar in the band, he looked like he'd just landed here via Bill & Ted's time machine from the 1980's and generally it just felt like you were watching a fan who had won a competition and had got the chance to perform with his favourite band for the night. One thing though which became clear was that he has the kind of vocals to allow for the band to continue on the kind of path paved by Nattesferd so it will be interesting to hear what they've been up to in the studio.

The band themselves also seemed a little out of sorts. They blasted through their big hitters from Blodtorst to Fossegrim to Mjod but it just didn't grab in the same way as it always has before. All in all it just felt like a very tired performance.