October 15, 2014 Khold – Til Endes (Album Review)
The sheer number of good bands from Scandinavia boggles the mind. For a region with such a relatively small population, they sure do churn out some killer musical collectives. For those unfamiliar, Oslo, Norway gave birth to a band called Khold back in 2000. Formed by members of the more pagan-themed Tulus, namely the drummer Sarke and vocalist/guitarist Gard, the duo quickly set out to form a proper band. Once they had the right lineup, they quietly peppered the last decade with five critically acclaimed, award-winning albums of a strain of black metal known loosely as ‘black-n-roll.’ Pioneered by Khold and their mighty countrymen Vreid, and currently espoused by bands such as Midnight, Speedwolf, and Kvelertak, the style features growled or screamed vocals set to music that incorporates rock-n-roll elements and time signatures to a black metal template. Unlike the latter three, Khold’s music and image is of the colder, morbid variety. More akin to Rebel Extravaganza era Satyricon than any type of light-hearted material, and much less beholden to the hipster set than Kvelertak, Khold’s music is dirty, raw, primitive, but no less groove-laden and rocking.
Here in the fall of 2014 Khold unleashes new record Til Endes onto an unsuspecting world. Continuing where 2008’s Hundre Ar Grammal left off, the new album comes to us via Peaceville Records. The songs within it are brimming with frigid grimness, set to catchy hooks and the big drum sound of Sarke (who is also featured alongside Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone in the band of the same name). Gard’s vocals would fall under the highly enunciated category of death-growl, with their adherence to singing in Norwegian adding to the strangeness of their sound for all the non-Scandinavian fans out there.
The band has truly perfected the mid-paced grinder with songs such as “Myr,” ‘Ravenstrupe,” and “Avund.” Two serious highlights of Til Endes are most certainly the vicious “Skogens Oye,” with its head-nodding pace and overall mean presentation. The way they slow down the bridge/chorus to build tension is highly effective. The title track features a great opening riff of almost industrial coldness, with an evil and menacing feel that does not abate. Another gem is the closing song, “Hengitt,” with thick bass chords and juicy riffs piloting a song which starts out mid-paced and transfers to some blast-beats halfway through. All different tempos are used in this song, and its a hell of a way to close out a truly strong album.
Khold also surprises fans with a blistering cover of ‘Troops of Doom’, a classic song by the legendary Sepultura. Reimagined as ‘Dommens Arme,’ it sounds freshly killed beneath the gelid fist of these Oslo death-merchants. Khold’s choice to cover an old classic like this is representative of where they fall as a band. Old-school, raw, and completely no-frills, they create their music using only drums, bass, guitar, and throat. Stripped of all studio flair and gimmickry, their music must stand or fall based solely on the merit of the riff. In Khold’s case, it most certainly stands. CrypticRock gives Til Endes 5 out of 5 stars.