CANTO: Kvelertak, Behemoth, Tengger Cavalry and more!



I had two tests today, and I’m basically brain dead. This will be short. Here goes:

  • Leading off, Kvelertak frontman Erlend Hjelvik announced his departure from the band this morning. I’m bummed. Wasn’t nuts about 2016’s Nattesferd, of course, but those first two albums are still gold — plus, Erlend was a big part of what made these guys so great in a live setting. We’ll see what happens from here.
  • Behemoth announced its fall Ecclesia Diabolica North America tour, with support from At the Gates and Wolves in the Throne Room. Kinda feels like the Carcass / Deafheaven / Inter Arma trek a few years back; I’m here for all these guys, but none of them really make a ton of sense with the others? Oh well.
  • Apparently, Tengger Cavalry is back together, and has a new song out called “Heart” out. Cool?
  • More tour dates! Obscura, Beyond Creation, Archspire and good gawd, y’all, I need to be at this show. September 27 at Voltage Lounge, I’m comin’ for ya.
  • Decibel announced a couple of more bands for the forthcoming West Coast edition of its annual Metal and Beer Fest. Joining the ranks now are The Black Dahlia Murder, Khemmis and Trappist. It’s not a competition, but…so far, this version’s beating the Philly one pretty handily.
  • And finally, we’ve got one left over from the weekend: Philly hardcore crew Jesus Piece dropped a new tune that the kids might describe as “flames.” Check out “Neuroprison” below:

The band’s new album, Only Self, will be out August 24 via Southern Lord. Pre-orders are available on both Bandcamp, as well as the label’s website. That’ll do it for now — check back soon for more!

Keep it heavy,

Album Review: Kvelertak – “Nattesferd”

kvelertak nattesferd album cover

On their new, third album, NattesferdKvelertak is less “Kvelertak-y” than they’ve ever been. John Dyer Baizley’s cover artwork? Gone. Kurt Ballou’s production? That’s out, too. In most cases, the band’s even done away with the blast-beat driven aggression that’s driven their black ‘n’ roll / hardcore sound since its inception. But if you’re worried the bottom’s completely dropped out, lighten up. At the end of the day, the Norwegians still know how to write a fun song, and they show that regularly on Nattesferd. It’s not a great album, but it’s certainly not a bad one either.
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Stage Dive: Rowdiest Concert You’ve Seen?

Wednesday morning, and it’s time for another edition of Stage Dive! This week, we’re going to get into what should be a topic very near-and-dear to all of your hearts. This week, let’s discuss…


mosh pit

As a metal fan–not to mention a fan of heavy music in general–it should go without saying that I’ve been to my fair share of wild gigs. Carcass’s headlining performance at Maryland Deathfest in 2013–when the crowd was so merciless as to physically force down some of the side barriers at the old Sonar compound–comes to mind. But still, nothing compares to my favorite rowdy concert in recent memory–Kvelertak‘s headlining set at the Studio at Webster Hall in May 2013.

Normally, when you think of rowdy concerts, you think of audience members as the primary perpetrators of said rowdiness. But in this case, it was more down to the band members themselves than the (to be fair, pretty romping) crowd. Want a taste? Check out this gig photo from Invisible Oranges:

Photo by Harriet Roberts / Invisible Oranges

Now I won’t take anything away from opening acts Black Tusk and Cancer Bats (okay, maybe I will from Cancer Bats; they kinda sucked as I recall), but it really was all about Kvelertak here. For those who don’t know, Kvelertak is a six-piece band–with three guitars, a bassist, drums, and a vocalist. And the Studio is not what you’d call a huge stage–even less so when it’s packed with amps, drums and other gear. So the guys had to get creative with the space. Singer Erlend Hjelvik jumped into the crowd, mic in hand, on more than one occasion. Bassist Marvin Nygaard took it a step further, at one point climbing into the crowd and beginning to play whilst hanging from the pipes lining the ceiling. And then, there was guitarist Vidar Landa, who did…well, this:

The only picture I managed to take all night. Instagrammed it because of course I did.

That would be the Studio’s bar, where Landa–following Nygaard’s lead–climbed to, atop audience members shoulders, before proceeding to sit down, drink a beer, and take a guitar solo.

Mind. Blown.

The show was an instant classic (if you don’t believe me, check the rest of that Invisible Oranges album), and ended up as one of the maybe five best shows I’ve ever been to. I’m not sure I see it losing its spot any time soon. Kvelertak immediately became one of those bands that I will see any and every chance I get, whether they’re opening or headlining. They should be for you as well.

What do you think? Make sure to post your choices in the comments!


Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.