“1985” — Kvelertak
In the music video for Kvelertak’s ball-check of a single “1985,” four dudes blow up a toilet. They also throw a fridge out a window, smear their own blood on their faces, terrorize (and potentially murder) a coupla’ old squares, and do some ritual thing involving fire and a satanic-looking staff. But most importantly, they blow up a toilet, and it in this moment that the Norwegian metal band provides the most apt metaphor for their music that I can think of.
Throughout their nearly ten-year career, Kveltertak’s guiding principle seems to be that the phrases “black metal” and “bro as fuck” not only can but should exist in conjunction with each other. They are Thin Lizzy in corpse paint; they are Andrew W.K. if he partied exclusively in hell. When I put Nattesferd, the title of Kvelertak’s newest album, into Google Translate, the quick-not-always-accurate service spat out the phrase “lit night journey.” Now, I assume Kvelertak meant this as a journey into a barren wilderness armed only with a torch to ward off and/or invite evil, but goddamn if it doesn’t also provide an incredible image of Nordic dudebros partying in the middle of a forest trying to chop down trees with their beards, or whatever manly men do after consuming paint-thinningly potent booze and they’ve said all the requisite ominous chants. “1985” in particular feels tailor-made for full-on, dropped-g cruisin’, wind in your hair and worldly troubles at your back.—Drew Millard
“50 Inch Zenith” — Westside Gunn ft. Skyzoo