Svölk – Svölk ‘Em All
Bear metal, … true Norwegian bear metal. I’d love to write this as another review of how stupid concepts can ruin great music, but with Svölk’s latest, Svölk ‘Em All (cringe), I find myself far too immersed by the music to care what the band is saying about it.
In fairness, their concept isn’t even that stupid, their basic goal is to put out a redneck brand of stoner metal. A more fair term for that might be “folk”, but the term is probably getting a bit played out, and “folk metal” usually means something completely different to the Scandinavians.
What’s really refreshing about Svölk, is that nowhere along the road did they lose track of the ‘rocking’ roots of stoner, and some of this stuff really stands out, in particular the blazing six minutes of “Inferno”, which I had to put on repeat for a good 6-7 listens after the first time I heard it. The vocals might seem a bit off to the traditional stoner fan, as they edge into more traditional or even power territory. What the song lacks in heavy fuzz though, it makes up for in sheer aggressive might. The opener “52” is another great track, with an acoustic vibe crashing into a really awesome and heavy bash. The bass line really stuck out to me, and I would describe it like “rolling thunder”, for it’s fuzzy omnipresence in the sound.
There’s also a presence of traditional rock in the music, as a devout Alice Cooper fan, I’ve always had an appreciation for musical theatrics. Certainly the whole “bear metal” thing might seem a bit silly, but it’s a lot of fun if you let it be. Svölk certainly deserves your attention, and I can say while it might not be the most profoundly innovative music I’ve ever heard, I can pretty well assure you it’ll be on my play lists for quite some time to come, because sometimes the point is just to show up, be awesome, and let the music speak for itself. Bravo.
Dagg’s Rating 3.75 out of 5