Kvelertak – Meir
Despite its stylistic allegiance to extreme metal sub-genres like hardcore and black metal, Kvelertak's self-titled debut back in 2010 was noticeably lacking in grim vibes. That could've had something to do with the lively, hard rock-inspired guitar solos, or maybe it was those self-referential battle cries. In any case, these Scandinavians were more interested in generating fist-pumping positivity than bumming people out.
That ideology hasn't shifted in the slightest: Meir is just as loud and bombastic as its predecessor and brings the band one step closer to capturing the energy of their live performances. They've upped the aggression here and there; Trepan opens with a blackened shower of tremolo-picks, and Snilepisk has vocalist Erlend Hjelvik screaming more intensely than usual, but for the most part, this is just a really entertaining, relatively accessible listen. Aspiring metalhead or die-hard thrasher? Either way, your summer soundtrack has arrived.