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Kvelertak's 2010 s/t debut and 2013 followup Meir already established them as one of the most fun and original modern metal bands, and Nattesferd is at least as good as those, if not their strongest yet. It's not every day that an individual record brings together the sounds Kvelertak bring together; their first two albums sounded like all your old Zeppelin, Sabbath, Metallica, AC/DC, Ramones and Motorhead tapes in a blender with black metal's vocals, hardcore's speed, and prog's embellishments. But you could usually pick out where they all came from. The solo on "Månelyst" sounded right off Master of Puppets. The main riff of "Evig Vandrar" took its cues from "Over the Hills and Far Away." So on and so forth. But on Nattesferd, with the exception of "1985" (an obvious ode to Van Halen), the only band that makes sense to namedrop is Kvelertak themselves. They're still using that same blender, but this time the sounds are fused together so seamlessly that you can't immediately tell where they came from. Take my favorite moment on the record, the riff at 2:37 on "Berserkr." It's simultaneously as rockin' as Page or Iommi, as catchy as a Weezer solo, and as melodically complex as a Beatles harmony. And that's just like, one 50 second block of this record.

I could go on about how few rock bands right now are this original, but even less are while also sounding this fun. It's a never-ending tug-of-war when you're talking about that stuff with regards to rock and roll. The fun stuff gets too simple and you need a heady band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor to step in. Then bands like that get too pretentious and nothing feels better than some good old three-chord punk. With Kvelertak, you don't have to pick. This record is a fucking blast to listen to. Putting it on is committing to 47 minutes of air guitar, table drumming, and a sore neck tomorrow morning from all the headbanging. I'd recommend blasting it while driving but I do not endorse breaking the speed limit and I can't promise you'll be able to control yourself. This thing is the kind of pure thrill that reminds me why I fell in love with rock and roll in the first place. It’s possible you won’t experience that same thrill if you don’t like screamed vocals at all, or if you’re a black/death metal purist and find it too poppy. But if you just dig rock music in all its many forms, then damn was this record written for you.

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(This review was originally published in Five Notable Releases of the Week on BrooklynVegan.)