Hundre År Gammal
posted on 9/2008 By:
A new Khold record is, well, a new Khold record. Fans of the band know what to expect by now, as they've been rocking to the same groove ever since the slightly-grimmer, slightly-cooler Masterpiss of Pain debuted some seven years ago. This, the band's fifth album, is perfectly in line with expectations: it's stark, it stomps, and it's slicker than ice - but that may be a detriment. Hundre År Gammal's content rarely sticks.
Those new to the band may be drawn to their inherent oddity. Khold certainly don't carry the typical imagery of the genre (this band did spawn from the ashes of Tulus, themselves atypical BM fashion-plates), and their attack is off-kilter as well - it is simultaneously laid-back and face-chewing. They bring the snarl and the spite in spades, but adhere to a leaden, trenchfoot formula that rarely changes course. Like a mechanized, supershined Darkthrone, Khold are heavy on groove and repetition. Vocalist/guitarist Gard steers the ship, spitting Abbathian gargle with a Billy Idol sneer, and it's his performance that dictates the quality of the record.
And that's where the hits and misses are tallied. Hundre År Gammal lives and dies by its riffs and vocal lines. When they kill, they kill - "Forrykt" is a gnashing example of their razor-dragging mettle - but a lack of urgency casts a pall over most of these similar-sounding tunes. This is simple music, groove-based and mid-paced. While there is some solid rhythm work here, reliant on nuance and swing rather than blast and thwack, none of it is particularly gripping. Unfortunately, the same can be said of the record as a whole.
Certainly, some of the riffs click, and some of the vitriol manages to work its way into the psyche. But while the band may have carved their niche, exploration into its contents is far from essential. Fans of this band's last effort, Krek, will find comfort in the belly of this beast; Hundre År Gammal is a sharp-enough nugget of hate that will certainly satiate rabid desires for Kholdness. However, neophytes in search of well-produced black metal riffery would be better served by scanning something of broader scope, a la Helrunar's latest.
It's a Khold record. Take it or leave it.
Register to post comments.