Khold’s album “Svartsyn” has been long-awaited, with an eight-year gap since their previous release. The band’s signature steely groove and downtuned guitars continue to be the driving force behind their music. While Khold may not surprise listeners with something entirely new, they maintain their unique style and deliver what fans love. The songs are built on repetitions of a couple of riffs, showcasing the band’s composing flair. The memorable “choruses,” though limited in scope, add a touch of melodiousness to their groove-oriented music.
One notable deviation from their usual style is found in “Helligdom av døde,” a song that stands out with its dreary and doomed atmosphere, departing from their typical groove. However, it is the diverse and ever-changing “choruses” that remain the album’s strong point. The vocals, delivered with cold and commanding precision, enhance the overall portentous feel. The album also incorporates a quasi-choir element, which fits well with the general evolution of Khold’s music.
The absence of dissonances, previously a characteristic of their sound, results in a smoother and more melodic approach. The album also hints at alternative metal influences, blurring the line between “true” and “alternative” riffs. While the album maintains an even quality and variety, it falls short of being a masterpiece while also avoiding failure.
Overall, “Svartsyn” energizes listeners with its distinctive groove, but it may leave some longing for the raw intensity of Khold’s earlier works. The band’s attempt to mature their sound is not entirely successful, as their icy groove remains their defining characteristic. While the album may not fully satisfy fans seeking a return to Khold’s earlier style, it showcases the band’s growth and incorporation of elements from their other projects. With its catchy riffs, powerful vocals, and Crowbel’s stellar bass presence, “Svartsyn” is a notable comeback for Khold and an enjoyable listen.