The Annex WreckRoom
May 22 2013
Norway's Kvelertak are a bit different. Sure, since they come from the country that spawned black metal legends like Mayhem, Burzum and Darkthrone, their sound has a blackened feel to it. But they also incorporate the high energy (and sing-along choruses) of contemporary punk, then add unison lead guitar parts reminiscent of early Iron Maiden or even prime Thin Lizzy.
For the last show of their twenty-five date North American tour promoting their recent, second album Meir the band made their Toronto debut at The Annex Wreck Room.
During the 65 minute set the group (with the addition of sometime E Street Band drummer Jay Weinberg filling in) played a decent mix of tracks from both albums including "Mjod" from the Norwegian film Troll Hunter (reviewed here) . Newer songs like "Bruane Brenn" and "Spring Fra Livet" were given enthusiastic workouts with lead singer Erlend Hjelvik completely commanding the stage with his deep growl.
Not that it was all dark and angry, at one point the band (and audience who, for obvious reasons, were better acquainted with the words) sang "Happy Birthday" to a member of the crew who was brought up onstage.
For the encore of their namesake song "Kvelertak", opening act Black Tusk joined for a suitably loose rendition that eventually fell apart in a sweaty but joyful heap amid a harshly dismantled drum set.