Review by Jack on April 14, 2002.
Cold, filthy and with indiscernible lyrics, what more could you ask for from a Norwegian ‘true black metal act? Not much more, Khold’s latest album in “Phantom” is short and direct, it delivers a quick, frosty jab to the guts and then retreats back into hiding. With only 9 songs and spanning only 33 minutes, Khold are clearly not around to waste a valuable hour of consumer listening time. Khold do they what they do, leaving absolutely shit all time for procrastination.
Make no mistake, folks, this is not your typical black metal ala Burzum and Darkthrone, there is so much melody and a unique identity in “Phantom” that one would swear Khold had been slaving away at the black metal caper for years and years, slowly perfecting their trademark groove with each new album. The reality is quite the opposite, Khold are only in their second album and already seem to be firing on pretty much all cylinders.
I have absolutely no idea in depth what the lyrics of “Phantom” cover, but from the translations of the Nordic song titles into English, one gets the feeling that there is a strong, deathly medieval theme concurrent through the bulk of “Phantom”. To further give off the theme of medieval witchcraft and superstition, vocalist Gard goes about his growls in a truly exceptional manner, perhaps possessing one of the most potent gargling, black metal roar/screams in the metal profession, I can’t praise his performance on “Phantom” enough.
My only real gripe with “Phantom” is that Khold seem to lose their way a little towards the end of the album, and don’t really have a complete arsenal at their disposal. ‘Ord I Flammer’ and ‘Vandring’ don’t really possess the song writing ability presented on the awesome track ‘Hekseformular I Vev’ and the opener, ‘Dodens Grode’ or ‘Death Crop’.
Bottom Line: “Phantom” is a worthy successor to “Masterpiss of Pain” and Khold are exploring some very interesting ideas. Maybe with a third album, Khold will rise even further and stand atop a bloody pillar with their victims adorned before them.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.5 out of 10