Khold - Phantom | RECORD STORE DAY

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Artist: Khold
Format: CD


Label: The End
Catalog: 591
Rel. Date: 04/09/2002
UPC: 654436050421

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Give it up for Satyr Wongraven. When not fronting black metal stars Satyricon,the Norwegian handles many of the day-to-day operations of his own Moonfog Records.And in the label's nearly decade long existence Satyr has practiced somestrict A&R quality control, bringing just 13 bands to the devil's herd.The latest of which, Khold, hadn't been together for even a year beforethey were scooped up and delivered their unfortunately titled 2001 debut Masterpissof Pain. Almost one year to the day the band returns with LP number two, Phantom.That doesn't afford much time to progress, but since Khold are contentto work with the barest of rock ‘n' roll essentials—drums, guitar,bass and screams—that really doesn't matter.

Without a tinkle of symphonic keyboards in their old school Norwegian blackmetal brew, comparisons to A Blaze in the Northern Sky-era Darkthroneare reasonably accurate. However, they do diversify—"Fra Grav tilMorke (From Grave to Gloom)" sounds more like Transylvanian Hunger-eraDarkthrone. But to be fair, what really makes this work is the simple hookinessof the riffs. Despite his Darth Vader-sans-helmet guise, guitarist/vocalistGard may very well be the Justin Broadrick of the black metal scene, fusingan amalgam of dark, heavy and ultimately groove-laden guitar progressions thatlodge themselves inside your head, rather than simply beat it to bloody pulpfrom the outside.

One regret, however, is the reduced presence of the debut's sinister low-endsound, perhaps due to the departure of bassist Eikind. But even without thosesubterranean bass lines, Phantom manages to thump like no other trebleloaded, lo-fi, black metal buzz fest of this or any other era.