Bear metal? Well now I’ve heard it all. You haven’t misread – it’s the very term Norway’s Svolk are using for their music. Apparently a mix of stoner, metal and a ‘Nordic redneck attitude’ constitutes to the coining of the term. Trouble is, it’s not as exciting as it may initially sound.
It’s very ordinary in fact and there’s nothing here to make this a distinguishable record for one reason or another. There are of course, warning signs before the music gets to your ears – the inventive title Svolk ‘Em All is where the alarm bells should begin. But even with no prejudice upon listening, there’s no denying the frustrations that this album create.
The five-piece generate some solitary moments that impress, but it’s agonizingly inconsistent. Anchor is far too plain and lacking charisma in its transitions and Dead 30 is a predictable number.
Well crafted soloing, some nice twists of riffola and better hard-rock styled lyricism make Miss Alcohol a highlight of this second attempt. Inferno is another rare surprise for its Helloween-esque riffery and Maiden-styled duelling, but unfortunately it stops there. The Norwegians show glimpses of potential but fail to utilise it fully on Svolk ‘Em All.