Khold - Mørke Gravers Kammer
Candlelight Records
Groovy Black Metal
10 songs (38:34)
Release year: 2004
Khold, Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

To me, Khold are akin to a McDonalds Big Mac. No matter what you do, you are always paying the same price, for the same taste, and the same quality. Now, whether you are a feverish supporter and delight in the flavor that is the Big Mac, or are reviled by the greasy, calorie laden heart attack burger is the same spectrum that Norwegian Groovy Black Metallers Khold should be judged by. It is very cliché to say that said band is a “love em’ or hate em’” group, but this is essentially how it is with the natives of Oslo. They formed in 2000 so they are still a younger act. This is their 2004 release, Morke Gravers Kammer. Some of the reviewers on MR would score this album rock bottom for a possible lack of new material and evolution as a band, but if there is anything I love, it is a good groovy sound with heavy overtones. Khold provide just that. Morke Gravers Kammer is Norwegian for Chamber of Dark Tombs, an aptly used title if you ask me.

If one hears “groove” and “Black Metal” in the same sentence many of you will automatically believe this to be Black’n’Roll. While each of Khold’s albums feature a pacing and song structure that could be very consistent with such a label, the actual music, the riffs, drums, vocals and atmosphere, all are consistent with Black Metal at its core. Khold for me are a fun and head bang worthy band which breathe fresh life into my ears after I get bored of my usual Krieg sounding monstrosity full o’ blast beats or some Cascadian opuses. What Khold are to me is a change of pace. Since I am almost always enjoying my collection in my waking hours, Khold become a useful asset to keeping me on my toes and ready for anything.

Opening with Atselgraver, Khold immediately show their prerogative to use blasts beats on this album more than anything I have heard from them in the past. My initial exposure was to the outstanding Hundre Ar Gammal which features next to no blast beats if any at all. Instead of relying only on one pace or styling, each song from tracks 1 to 4 feature very differing riffage and patterns. My favorite of the two happen to be Dod which features a steady chugging mid pace throughout the track and some quality riffs. From what I gather, this was one of the more notable tracks on the record, as a video was made for it and released on some editions of the record. This is one of the heavier songs on the album, and proves that Black Metal can be atmospheric and heavy without the use of intermittent blast beats. Another aspect about Khold’s music that is truly enjoyable is the deep and audible bass guitar and the quality production.

However there still bears the raw attitude that Black Metal bring to the table without muddy guitars or vanishing bass lines. The one track out of the first few that brings forth the most raw attitude and uniqueness is track 4, entitled Hevnerske. This probably would not be the track I use to show any new listener my absolute favorite from Khold, but Hevnerske is a testament to the fresh change of pace that the band brings to an otherwise murky Norwegian scene. With exceptions to outstanding acts like Taake, Gorgoroth, Burzum and a few others, the Norwegians are no longer bearing the torch for the finest Black Metal nation. Instead, fresh ideas are being forged in places like Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, and even my dearest US of A. Even with the dissolution of Emperor, Kvist, and a few other titans of the scene, there still are acts in the frosty reaches of Norway that can run with the rest of the world.

Perhaps it is not the disappearing of some of the Norwegian bands but the emergence of other nations as bastions of Black Metal that has brought Norway to only a mid grade BM arena that many regard it as. As long as bands like Gorgoroth, Burzum, Khold, and Immortal play alongside the rest of the competition, Norway will always hold a place in our hearts as a land of Black Metal glory. Khold hold the distinction of being one of the more unique bands to traverse the planes of bleakness. With this skill set and style, they will continue to be one of the more fun bands to listen to when the same old mayhem grows stale.

PS – An interesting side note I just discovered whilst searching the specs of the album: Gard’s (vocals and guitar) wife writes all of the lyrics.

Killing Songs :
Dod, Hevnerske, Opera Seria
Tony quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Khold that we have reviewed:
Khold - Til Endes reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Khold - Hundre Ar Gammal reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Khold - Krek reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
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