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Khold - "Til Endes" (CD)

Khold - "Til Endes" CD cover image

"Til Endes" track listing:

1. Myr
2. Skogens oye
3. Ravnestrupe
4. Dommens arme (Sepultura cover)
5. Til Endes
6. Det dunkle dyp
7. Avund
8. Hengitt

Reviewed by on September 30, 2014

"An audible, prominent bass coupled with a nice clear production makes Khold an anomaly in a scene that prides itself on traditionalism and sounding like shit just for the sake of sounding like shit (I'm looking at you, Mayhem)."

Giving the Norwegian black metal scene a needed kick in it's complacent ass, Khold shows that music doesn't have to be trve, kvlt, or lo-fi to be grim as fvck. The band's sixth full-length album mixes up genres, adding in a dose of groove to the standard black metal styling, but more importantly changes one key component: the sound quality. An audible, prominent bass coupled with a nice clear production makes Khold an anomaly in a scene that prides itself on traditionalism and sounding like shit just for the sake of sounding like shit (I'm looking at you, Mayhem).

The vocals and overall vibe are black metal to the max, but in an interesting twist the instrumentation is like a darker version of groove metal and the hooks are much more memorable than what you'd typically get with the black side of things. This shift in tone is a welcome change from the norm and makes “Til Endes” much more appealing than just another in a long line of frozen cookie cutter European black metal albums.

While that change keeps the music interesting and provides staying power, there is a major factor working against the album: the overly similar atmosphere and pacing between songs. While the tracks on their own are excellent – meaning there's lots of a good thing – it may actually be too much of a good thing, without enough variation across the disc. It's most noticeable by the time the plodding, mid-paced title track hits, which doesn't have as much energy as the preceding songs.

On the flip side, there's “Dommens Arme,” which despite the unfamiliar name will actually be a familiar track, as it's a cover of Sepultura's “Troops Of Doom,” and it offers a more frantic pace than the rest of the songs. Likewise, “Hengitt” is more aggressive and faster paced than the other tracks, and “Avund” features a darkly melodic twist halfway through that changes the tone of the song drastically.

While lacking in sonic diversity, “Til Endes” still sets itself apart from the rest of the Norwegian black metal pack, and the high end production and blackened groove sound make it well worth a listen for fans who like to leave the traditional blueprint behind every now and again.

Highs: Great production, clear bass tones, and a blend of black and groove that ignores stifling traditionalism.

Lows: The songs are overly similar, without enough diversity across the disc.

Bottom line: Black metal gets a groove-laden makeover complete with high-end production and clear bass lines.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)