Ever experienced the stranglehold of a drunken viking? – Kvelertak live @ the Underground, Cologne, November 19th 2011

One of the most anticipated tour packages this year (IMHO, of course…), consisting of Kvelertak, Toxic Holocaust, The Secret and Wolves Like Us, finally invaded the Underground in Cologne on November 19th. Four top-class acts guaranteed and a sold out venue, so I braced myself for an overcrowded place and a hard time to get from the bar to the front row and back for the next pint…

The first band to hit the stage that night were Wolves Like Us, hailing from Oslo. Featuring former members of Amulet and JR Erwing, the guys performed an entertaining brand of Alternative Rock with lots of cool melodies and some neat guitar and drum work. Especially bass player Toy delivered one classic rock star pose after the other.

Toy & Jonas, Wolves Like Us

Toy & Jonas, Wolves Like Us

The Secret were up next, filling in for Trap Them, who had to cancel this tour due to some serious health issues. After a droning introduction reminiscent of Sunn O))) (e-bow, feedback and LOTS of fog…), the Italian four-piece went on full throttle with a mixture of Black Metal and sludgey Postrock, so I was able to warm up my neck a little for the Thrash assault that was yet to come.

Marco & Michael, The Secret

Marco & Michael, The Secret

About 15 minutes passed until Toxic Holocaust dropped the nuclear bomb on Cologne Rock City. Encouraging the audience to start a circle pit, Joel Grind seemed to have lots of fun during the short, but extremely intense gig. The new songs fitted perfectly into the set, but the older ones really set the crowd off and suddenly the whole space in front of the stage merged into a circling and moshing entity. Getting hit in the face a few times by the occasional elbow, fist or banging head, I had to withdraw a bit in order to bang along to a classic set comprised of older hits like “Nuke The Cross” and new smashers like “Bitch” or the show-stopper “I Am Disease”. Also read an interview I conducted with Joel before the gig here!

Joel, Toxic Holocaust

Joel, Toxic Holocaust

Tension became almost tangible during the next 20 minutes until Kvelertak finally hit the stage at 23:05. “Turbonegro/Gluecifer (during their mid 90’s heyday, to be precise) meets late Darkthrone ethos meets drunken Norwegian Vikings” would be the best way to describe this band. Taking no prisoners right from the beginning, Kvelertak managed keep the high energetic level of the three supporting acts and even turned it up it little more. “Blodtørst”, “Fossegrim”, “Ulvetid”… you name it… every song they played was a total overkill! These bastards know how to keep the place on fire. Marvin (bass) surfed over the crowd in order to climb along the lighting rig, the three-guitar onslaught blew everything apart and singer Erlend was so sweaty, he slipped right through our hands during his crowd surfing attempt…

Marvin, Erlend & Bjarte, Kvelertak

Marvin, Erlend & Bjarte, Kvelertak

After the encore (“Utrydd Dei Svake”), the place was literally eradicated and one of the most exciting tour packages I came across so far finally came to end. The only drawback of the night: Kvelertak charged 20 bucks for a shirt! Fucking expensive, if you ask me… but obviously there’s always enough idiots who are willing to pay…

Check out some more pictures here.


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