Monday, 12 January 2015

Khold "Til Endes" (2014)

After six years of silence, Norwegian Black Metalers "Khold" return out of the chilling frosty blue with a new, but short record. Khold's brand of Black Metal is different from the traditional Norwegian sound, the group, who's first album "Masterpiss Of Pain" dropped in 2001, have a significant and noticeable influence from Groove Metal in their rhythmic approach, and tonally the guitars have a bombastic dropped chord sound of which you could draw comparisons to Nu Metal, which was in its peak at that time. This influence was most noticeable on 2004's "Morke Gravers Kammer", my favorite of theirs, which plays out slamming groovy riffs in a lush and textural cold, dark Black Metal format. Since this record Khold have not changed their formula much, nor had they pushed any creative boundaries, I was expecting more of the same, and after six years this group return with exactly that.

If your into Khold, like me, then "Til Endes" can be an entertaining record in the right mood, but without any progression to their sound it remains a tight niche they carved themselves into, and honestly its not exciting as it once was. "Til Endes" has a little bit of everything they have done previously, and it doesn't aim to put its focus on any of it in particular. Across these eight tracks the band execute an array of riffs and ideas that span across the spectrum of Black and Groove, and most of which sound like rehashes of old ideas and previous material. There is a slightly Thrashy tinge to some of the guitar work which is accompanied by a Thrash like solo on the track "Dommens Armé". Its not an unwelcome addition, but fails to add anything thats not been heard before.

The production of this record is a noticeable mark behind their previous records, playing them side by side you hear a significant lack of dimension captured across the instruments, giving it a narrow and quiet sound that doesn't exactly tame the music itself. After the ears adjust its a nice, crisp sound with their classic slamming, yet cold guitar tone. The drumming feels a little distant and tinny, the bass plods along behind the guitars and Gard's snarly, growling vocals are captured modestly. Overall this album lacks new ideas, rehashes old ones, and is drowning in mediocrity. For a sound I feel I've heard through and through, it offers me very little in the way of something new to digest.

Rating: 4/10