From the fjords of Norway, echoes of a rich, primeval musical timbre are resonating, as the indomitable Kvelertak gears up to release their new album “Endling.” This Scandinavian sextet, with their unique blend of punk, black metal, and classic rock, are primed to etch new stories into the edifice of their discography. “Endling,” an album steeped in the complex and often obscure folklore of their homeland, is scheduled to touch down on September 8th via Rise Records/Petroleum Records.
Serving as a herald to this much-anticipated album is the recently released single “Skoggnagr.” The band, choosing to keep fans in suspense, has unveiled this piece accompanied by an evocative lyric video. As the inaugural offering from “Endling,” “Skoggnagr” introduces us to the central narrative inspired by the life and writings of Helmut Von Botnlaus, an eccentric recluse whose life unfolded amidst the raw beauty of southwestern Norway.
“Skoggnagr” seems to provide a window into Von Botnlaus’ solitary existence, the earth providing his sustenance and the encroaching threat of industrialization his adversary. Von Botnlaus’ tale weaves itself into the larger fabric of “Endling,” as the band explains: “This is where he spent most of his secluded life, living off what the earth can provide him with while fighting anyone trying to destroy the surrounding nature. Wind turbine and real estate developers, look out!”
Indeed, “Endling” appears to be an ode to the often overlooked and marginalized individuals who make up Norway’s cultural history. As guitarist Vidar Landa declares, “On ‘Endling’, we tell the stories of the extinct and dying men and women of Norway. Old and new myths, culture, and rituals come to life — the folklore that doesn’t fit a TV series concept. Vikings and trolls are for television. This is the real deal.”
Kvelertak’s fearless dive into such culturally nuanced themes is yet another testament to their refusal to conform. Where other bands might shy away, Kvelertak embraces the raw and the real. The shout of “Kielland is dead, long live Kielland!” perhaps symbolizes the band’s own ethos – an enduring, anarchic spirit that thrives amidst the cycles of life and death.
With “Endling” on the horizon, we can but wait with bated breath for what Kvelertak will present. Given their past penchant for the audacious and unexpected, we can be assured of one thing: this will be no ordinary musical journey.