I’m leery of bands that misspell words intentionally, because I’ve had nightmarish experiences with most of ‘em. I suppose KHOLD could be derived from another language, but I prefer to think that it isn’t because my entire opening line would be meaningless if it were. The music, though, is what I’m here to talk about and “Krek” pleases in manifold categories. This is Black Metal for fans of DARKTHRONE, which means they intermingle catchiness and outright antagonism, complying with natural tendencies at all times.
Amazingly, these guys have only been toiling away since 2000 and “Krek” is their fourth full-length record. If the aforementioned is any indication – I’m sure it is – then I’ll hazard that their prior releases are rife with quality, too. I must concede that this isn’t exactly a behemoth as far as pure length is concerned, but the three-minute installments aggregate to form a body of commendable work. Unlike DARKTHRONE, however, KHOLD’s production values are refined. And even though the production is lucid, they still manage to pull off a trashy distorted sound, which makes for a nice balance. While the closer “Silur Wie” is a trudging melancholic opus, others mostly conform to a mid-paced, or slightly faster, tempo as seen in “Krek,” “Blod Og Blek,” and “Byrde.” The musical performances aren’t stunning in the sense that your jaw will hit the floor upon the first note, but the instrumentation excels because it’s both fitting and laudable. “Lysets Flukt” boasts, in addition to its monumental riffing patterns (0:36 to ), audible bass that is knotty and a joy to listen to. The remaining tracks all gleam in one way or another and like I implied earlier, the closing number is bittersweet for multiple reasons. “Silur Wie” commands attention by way of spellbinding guitars and atmosphere, for example, though it does mark the departure of a fine album.
Reminding me, at times, of “Hate Them” and “Sardonic Wrath”-era DARKTHRONE, KHOLD hooked me immediately with their brand of infectious Black Metal. Even the most somber compositions find a way to latch onto you and the musical performances, exquisite growling, solid production and undeniable catchiness bolster the songwriting. How are you going to find this in a store? Just look for the weird, bald dude on the cover. As a matter of fact, he’s on the front of all their publications. (Online February 23, 2006)