#Khold Du dømmes til død

2 min read

Band: Khold
Title: Du dømmes til død
Label: Soulseller Records
Release date: March 22nd, 2024
Country: Norway
Format reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

The image that came to me when listening to Khold’s new album Du dømmes til død was a single guitarist in an empty room, playing the riffs while screaming the vocals into the dark walls. This is an illusion. Khold has a full lineup of four musicians, but the arrangement and production allow me to visualise the vocalist as a person and the steady guitar as a clearly separated individual instrument. The lack of clutter is relaxing. It allows me to listen more closely to the stories told in the lyrics.

The articulation of the vocalist is excellent. I can understand most of the words even though I haven’t found them in writing. From what I can hear the lyrics follow a traditional style of meter and rhymes. This fits well with the folkloric themes of Trolldom (the Nordic style of witchcraft) and punishment, themes that are present in old Nordic tales that are told to children at bedtime or, in darker versions, whispered by older siblings after lights are out and the house is silent except for the suffocated wails of the Myling (spirit of a murdered child) under the floorboards. The lyrical style, theme, and wordings give a sense of ancient saga.

The feeling of magic, wisdom, and danger is enhanced by the punishing repetitive nature of the music. Riffs are clearly audible in a low-pitched and rough guitar tone, sometimes with traces of death or doom metal. The relentless flow reminds me somewhat of Mgla, but Du Du dømmes til død is much more restrained.

This is an album that at the same time resembles many other bands and albums, while it is also unapologetically itself. This album is not making any fuss, inget fjäsk as we would say in Swedish. Nothing is added to please the listener or enhance the image of the band. The ten average-length songs are played through in the same catchy steadiness from beginning to the end. It is relaxing and safe, but as the last song begins even a traditionalist like me starts to crave some variation, some tension, some discomfort to challenge me or draw me deeper.

This is music that carries tradition, both that of the Nordic folklore and that of previous metal acts. It does not open any new worlds or bring any change to the scene, but that is probably not what Khold is aiming for either. 7/10 By Ask Den Hängde

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