Live Reviews Music

Kvelertak live at Borderline, London

Borderline, London

16th August 2012

After the collapse of this years Sonisphere festival many of the estranged bands from the fallen line up have been turning up in London to continue to make their presence felt. In a week that’s seen two sold out shows by Refused it’s the turn of Norway’s hottest metal export Kvelertak to slay London with two sold out nights at the uber tiny Borderline.

The bearded throng of punters chant as the sextet saunter on to the tiny stage and launch into ‘Sjøhyenar (Havets herrer)’, vocalist Erlend Hjelvik hurling himself into the crowd. We’re treated to further choice cuts from their 2010 debut as the powerhouses that are ‘Fossegrim’ and ‘Blødtorst’ rain down upon the swirling audience. There really is something unique about this band and their punk/metal/rock/blastbeat hybrid is difficult to define or imagine on paper yet it gels in with a sadistic coherency both on record and in the live setting. Some new tracks are aired too tonight and if monsters like ‘Spring Fa Livet’ are anything to go by album number two is going to be a bruiser.

As their frenetic set rumbles on the crammed confines of this miniscule venue really begin to heat up and mic after mic is replaced as crowd surfers and divers alike get entangled in Hjelvik’s cables as he stalks the stage. The climax of the show is a rousing rendition of ‘Mjød’ which featured in the Troll Hunter movie, fists punching in the air and the crowd mouthing along to Norwegian lyrics they can neither understand nor pronounce. This is the beauty of Kvelertak, a band who let the music do the talking and transcend language barriers. More bands need to play with this venom and conviction, album number two soon please?

Words: Miles Hackett