Fireworks

Svölk - 'Nights Under The Round Table' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0a/b4/3b/3081_svoelknightsundertheroundtable_1356228059.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2012    
 
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It’s relentless; it’s unstoppable: it’s Svölk, goddamit!

Svölk’s first new album for Napalm finds the rifftastic Norwegians hitting their stride and expanding on the horizons set out in their ‘Svölk ‘Em All’ debut which was lovingly repackaged and re-issued by Napalm last year. But whereas that first album was a healthy slice of Anthrax, served up Scandinavian style, ‘Nights Under The Round Table’ sees the five Norwegians stepping out and revving up in their own inimitable style. The result is a collection of largely longer, more down-tuned and downbeat songs – an album of long, hard winter nights and heavy crushing riffs, washed down with attitude and groove.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As such ‘Nights Under The Round Table’ is maybe not as accessible or as immediate as its predecessor; second time around Svölk are still as hard as a hurricane and heavy as a rock but all nine cuts on offer are suffused with a very profound Seventies vibe. There’s a lot going on, too, almost too much to take on board in one go, and so repeated plays unearth previously unnoticed hidden depths to the songs. The twists and turns of ‘Painbringer’ and the Danzig-on-Diazepam ‘To Conquer Death You Only Have To Die’ ably show different sides to the self-proclaimed kings (and possibly only purveyors) of Bear Metal; if anyone’s worried that they might have turned their back on their ursine roots the Metallica-tinged ‘Bearserk’ pulls things back on track, and set closer ‘This Is Where It Ends’ is a five-minute musical masterclass.

Despite wearing its influences so heavily on its sleeve, ‘Nights…’ is very much metal for the twenty-first century. Every song a riff-fest in its own right and nothing is played straight or kept simple as one intricate, finger-twisting, neck-breaking riff gives way to the next and the next and the next. Like an out-of-control train it’s relentless; it’s unstoppable: it’s Svölk, goddamit!

John Tucker

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