I’ve never been into the Norwegian sound of True Black Metal. I’ve laid ears on DARKTHRONE and MAYHEM (maybe a couple more), those bands gave me nothing, nada, zip. Now I’m about to review the latest album from KHOLD, a band that draws inspiration from the very same sound I remain unaffected by after ten years of listening to Metal music.
Musically “Mørke Gravers Kammer” (roughly translated into “The Grave Digger’s Dark Chamber” or something close to it) isn’t all that interesting although not being a totally worthless album. They play Black Metal with an unorthodox twist. Everything is done the Norwegian way, the vocals are raw, the lyrics are sung in their native language (Norwegian) and the music is primitive and atmospheric... but... the band also uses rocking riffs and the rebelliousness attitude of Punk music in their songs.
KHOLD are somewhat unoriginal when it comes to making ass-kicking riffs. These riffs have been used a hundred times with different sounds and variations. The title track has some cool experimental guitar lines; a good song actually but how does that help when almost everything else drags me into boredom.
The songs can be divided into two categories: ugly and fast (not blast beaty, just fast) or rockish with some decent catchiness. “Hevnerske” could be a lost Black Metal track from the 60’s for all I know, the verses reek of pure Black Rock, what a damn catchy chorus! The CD also includes a video for the song “Død”; the song has some catchiness to it but the video is just lame.
The sound is cold. They’ve kept the bass high in the mix. In Black Metal that’s a good thing, when the bass is audible and creates those morbid touches the atmosphere gets more sinister and evil!!!
My verdict is still the same. Stone Age Black Metal just ain’t my thing and probably never will be. Fans of the genre will find this album more charming. (Online May 2, 2004)