After a period of six years in the wilderness, Norway’s exponents of groove-laden black metal KHOLD are back with a new album Til Endes, out now via Peaceville Records. If you’ve never heard the band before, then this record is actually a great place to start. There are no production gimmicks, the whole thing is pretty bare bones, as it should be with this music. I hate it when bands take a winning formula and fuck around with it. The majority of the songs are mid-tempo and cold as the blackest night in Norway, as they should be. The bass is very high up in the mix, something I always love, and the guitars are sharp and biting, also as they should be.
One of the things I enjoyed most on this record were the changes in tempo and groove during some songs like “Dommens Arme” , a cover of SEPULTURA’S classic “Troops Of Doom”, an immediate standout and one of the wildest tracks found here. “Til Endes” is another one that also boasts a rich and luscious guitar tone and is a bit hookier than the rest. A slow and steady grind permeates “Det Dunkle Dyp” and on this one, much like the rest, Gard (vocals, guitar) sounds like a man possessed, his voice ripped from him by some otherworldly demon. His co-founder Sarke (drums) also really seems to be playing with a sense of urgency on all the tracks. It’s like this band just decided to come in and give the scene a kick in the balls with their own patented “black and roll”. You can really hear those rhythms on “Avund” and “Ravnestrupe” pounding heads against the wall while Gard and his six-string partner Rinn help decorate in brain matter gray.
Opening track “Myr” follows a slow, lumbering groove with the guitars simply cutting down anything that gets in their way, while “Skogens ùye” picks up the pace just a bit and reminds everyone of the tr00 power of Black Metal Riffage! It also takes off at one hell of a gallop in the latter portion. If you haven’t already guessed the guitars on this album are not only mic’d perfectly, but the sound they give off could melt icebergs. Closer “Hengitt” starts off with Crowbel’s sludgy, dirty bass and then the whole band kicks into a crunchy, bone-jarring groove designed to shake your fillings loose and give you a concussion. Press REPEAT at your own risk, fuckers.
From top to bottom and start to finish Til Endes is a fantastic record and one that KHOLD fans will be going fucking mental over for quite a while. The sound quality alone makes for one of the best-produced records I’ve heard in 2014. A sure-fire contender for Black Metal Album of the Year, this is an absolute must-have for any fan of the genre, and anyone looking to get their heads caved in for eight songs.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM