04 Jul 2021 - Thorsten
Atmospheric Black Metal | Vendetta Records | Release date: 21 Jun 2021
This is a record to listen to in November or December or generally when it gets cold because this sort of classic-inspired Black metal is just not made for sunshine and bright colors. However, when listened to at night or during the cold, dark winter days of Northern Europe – then this debut makes sense.
Of course, one must admit that Danish-duo Kold is not re-inventing this genre. There, it’s been said, so the big elephant can now be moved from the room and the music can be assessed, for it’s got more to offer than just a stupid short comment trying to level out the duo’s spot in Black Metal history.
Kold’s debut was written and recorded during the pandemic. Thus it is a reflection of its time, and one must see how much influence the global lockdown has taken on the music scene; hell this record by two musicians was not even recorded in the same studio with each one recording his parts separately from the other. And when looking at a song title like ”Fortvivlelsens Kammer” (“Chamber of Despair”) one can imagine the two each sitting at home, without too much connection to the outside world contemplating their spot in the world. A position which can lead straight to despair and depression, no doubt, when realizing how little one can do to change one’s influence on his own fate during these strange times. The other songs titles also show no hint at hope, for example ”Sorgens Bristepunkt” (“The Breaking Point of Grief”) or ”En Skov Af Tavse Stemmer” (“A Forest of Silent Voices”). There is always this feeling of despair beyond repair in many of them, especially with ”Sorgens Bristepunkt”, which is the third track of the album.
What should be pointed out as well is the overall musical appeal of the record: with more than 38 minutes stretching across four songs, there is surely a lot to take in and sometimes it needs a very close ear or several listens to get the little nuances, which make this an above-average-Black-Metal-release: For example the moment, when the gloomy guitar picking in ”En Skov Af Tavse Stemmer” stops and gives way to some midtempo blastbeats (yes, there is such a thing!) which slowly picks up pace and shifts more towards pure rage. The voices inside the narrator’s head must be driving him mad. The little noisy edges of the guitar part following the first slow-down are very-well-punctuated and give the song a bit of an industrial feel which is then swept away by the next blastbeats. To hear the second slow-down being accompanied by some different drumming is also very nice and simply makes much more sense than just repeating the first one again.
The “highlight” of the EP is surely the third track with its piano-parts, one feels like the pianist wants to hit heavy on the keys so that is sounds closer to a synth than normally. These piano parts are also the only part not recorded by the duo. Interesting is also the fact that here the piano is not blended over into the next part but stands out, before the near classic-metal-part kicks in. The return of the guitar picking from the track before also gives the whole EP a kind of cohesive vibe.
As this is the first EP by Kold and as it was written and recorded under the strangest of conditions, one must note this band into one’s little notebook with “bands to keep an eye out for”. They know their classics, they know their instruments and they know how to effectively give songs some refined details to make them larger than life.