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Khold – Svartsyn

by Gary Hernandez at 06 August 2022, 3:49 PM

It has been a long eight years since we last heard from KHOLD. On June 24, 2022 that drought ended with the outpouring of “Svartsyn” on Soulseller Records. This is KHOLD’s seventh full-length studio album, and it is one of their best. The album spans ten tracks, just over forty minutes, and offers up a diverse range of Norwegian Black Metal.

At the outset, I want to acknowledge how well produced this album is. Andy La Rocque (assisted by Peter Granberg) at Sonic Train studios did some fantastic work recording, mixing, and mastering. The bass is cleanly separated, the drums are so well placed it feels like each piece of the kit is spread out across your entire cranium, and the guitars and vocals slice right down the middle. One of my favorite tracks is “Helligdom Av Dode.” The track is actually one of the slowest on the album, but that slower tempo also opens up the sonic space to really experience the full nuance of the recording. And that’s the mark of great production—when you feel you are experiencing a piece rather than just listening to it.

Other great tracks are “Apostel,” which opens the album, “Olslet Blot,” which comes right on the heels of “Apostel,” and “I Demonens Bok,” which is about as close as the band gets to a heavy rock vibe. The band also has a video supporting this track which is way cool. Altogether it’s that range that I really like about this album. While KHOLD never deviates from their Black Metal roots, there are infusions of so many other styles that it creates a sense of expansiveness.

Lyrics are again written by Hilde Nymoen, who also writes for TULUS and is married to Gard who is a member of the very same TULUS. Yeah, so a tight knit Black Metal family there. As they say, a family that slays together stays together. Also, while it has been eight years since the latest KHOLD release, there was a TULUS release in 2020.

 “Svartsyn” roughly translates to “I answer.” That pronouncement captures the essence of this album. If the call is, “where is the warriors of Black Metal?” KHOLD answers with “Here I am” as they wade into the center of the battle. I can’t say that “Svartsyn” is an especially innovative or groundbreaking album, but it does spike a stake in the ground, marking this hill as a formidable and much welcomed comeback for KHOLD.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1.  Apostel
2.  Ødslet Blod
3.  Evig
4.  Skarpretter
5.  Helligdom Av Døde
6.  Manngard
7.  Dystopi
8.  I Demonens Bok
9.  Villvandre
10.  Bryt i Udåd Ut
Gard – Vocals, guitar
Rinn - Guitar
Crowbel - Bass
Sarke – Drums
Record Label: Soulseller Records


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Edited 06 October 2022

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