KHOLD - of Pain (MOONFOG Records CD 2001)
2001 brought us debut album from new Norwegian black metal band and I still remember how impressed I was after hearing " of Pain" for the first time (got a promo CD from back then). I felt like their music went the completely opposite direction than most of the Norwegian black metal scene - which in the early 00’s reached the bottom of disgrace for me. And while most classic bands wanted to experiment or started to play music, which could hardly resemble their earlier works, came up not only with a dark, grim and utterly cold simplistic pure black metal, but also managed to create their own, very characteristic style. Obviously, is a successor of and was created by members. This is why so many characteristics of , especially from their (then final) record "Evil 1999", could be found on " of Pain". But I think that music is even more ice cold and inhuman. More vicious. And better.
I have to say that the music on " of Pain" is just fantastic. There's such a heaviness to these sounds, underlined with their tuning, which is very low. And with so well audible and active bass, the music feels like was about to crush you into the ground... or drill into your head with the immense, sadistic pleasure. This instrument is never hidden to the secondary role in the back... often plays more important role than the guitar, like in "", which is great disturbing song with very eerie atmosphere. That already creates sound, which you couldn't compare to any other band, except of corpse. Riffs are quite are really creating kind of hypnotizing effect on the listener. Especially when most of the album is mostly slow paced, what naturally improves the final effect. The atmosphere, as I already mentioned, is very grim and ice cold and the vocals are very ghoulish, very harsh and . At the same time everything is surprisingly easily listenable and memorable, so music will stick in your head after first spin for good. I keep coming back to it often, but to be honest, I mainly play " of Pain" rather than any of their other albums.
Standout tracks: "Den store ", " ", ""