PLEASE NOTE: This particular post is going to be an editorial of sorts. The views and opinions you will read are entirely my own, and do not reflect the views and opinions of this site, or anyone else on this site.
~In an extremely confusing and odd move, Roadrunner Records has signed Norwegian powerhouse Kvelertak. Their new album “Meir” will be released on March 26th, and will be preceded by the digital release of the single “Bruane Brenn” which hits on February 5th.
Now.. this band has an extremely unique sound. They mix elements of hard rock, punk and black metal to create a sound that is entirely their own. Roadrunner has a vast and varied roster of bands, but I don’t feel Kvelertak quite fit in well. When you hear Roadrunner Records, the bands that usually immediately come to mind are the likes of Nickelback, Slipknot and Stone Sour. Essentially; commercialized, accessible metal and rock. You don’t generally see a label like this sign a black metal band whose lyrics are entirely in Norwegian.
I’ve followed/watched Roadrunner for years, pretty much ever since I got into metal. In fact, I can credit certain bands that were on the label at the time of my musical development. Coal Chamber, Fear Factory, Ill Niño and Spineshank are among the key bands responsible for being the catalysts of getting me into metal. I’ve seen bands skyrocket to success because they became comfortable with writing simplistic radio rock. I’ve seen Roadrunner become a death sentence for bands that just couldn’t move enough units. I’ve seen bands that were forced to do a painful 180 in their sound, just to appease the label and attempt to move more units (i.e. make more money.) I’ve even seen cds hyped up and fail to release because of internal issues with the label.
I’ve also seen rare exceptions in which bands refuse to compromise their integrity and sound for anyone. Gojira is this rare exception, and they are just as strong and crushing as they were before Roadrunner. I know it sounds like I don’t like the label, but rest assured, that is not the case. I am grateful for Roadrunner’s existence, because without them, I may not have wound up loving metal as I do now, and I very well may not have even wound up in a metal band.
I love Kvelertak and I hope to hell that they too will be the rare exception. Though, based upon the forthcoming single, I have zero doubts that Kvelertak will fucking crush everything.~