After a nearly seven-year break, Norwegian black metal stalwarts Kampfar return with the epic Kvass, an album that mixes the basic tropes of contemporary Scandinavian death metal with an approach that in this context sounds almost classicist by metal standards. Echoes of '70s-vintage metal and the harder side of progressive rock abound on Kvass, from the Black Sabbath lumber of the rhythm section (consistently playing at about half the tempo the average black metal act would attempt) to touches like the semi-classical piano interludes on "Ravenheart" and the uniformly lengthy song structures giving plenty of room for expressive multiple-guitar riff showcases of the style that Hawkwind and the Groundhogs perfected. Those whose aesthetic sense of Norwegian death metal leads them to judge a band's quality solely on the thrash of their drummer and how much the singer sounds like the Cookie Monster might discount Kvass, but overall, this is both a welcome return to form and a rare example of how Scandinavian metal bands can successfully reacquaint themselves with their roots.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason