Staff Pick: Kvelertak’s black ’n’ roll is balls-out party rock perfection

By Columbus Alive
From the April 25, 2013 edition

At its most enthralling, rock music feels like injecting adrenaline into your bloodstream then standing in front of a jet engine — eyes wide, ears blasted by the noise, hair blown back by the sheer power. Conjuring this kind of full-throttle sensory experience is rare on stage and rarer still on record, and making it sound joyous without compromising on shrill brutality is nothing short of a miracle.

Kvelertak, then, is one miraculous band. The behemoth Norwegian sextet plays black ’n’ roll, a version of balls-out party rock infused with the blood-curdling abrasion of black metal. On its Kurt Ballou-recorded sophomore LP, Meir, the band takes that monolithic ogre crunch to its apotheosis, channeling a breathless, bombastic spirit — something like F---ed Up without the conceptual baggage. It’s a pure rager, a record that sounds fantastic doing 85 on the freeway but begs to be experienced communally among the sweaty masses at a bar like Ace of Cups.

Cancer Bats and Black Tusk set the stage for destruction Thursday.