Mørke Gravers Kammer

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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

In the Scandinavian countries, English has long been the unofficial language of death metal/black metal; in Sweden, Norway, Denmark. and Finland, the vast majority of headbangers write in English exclusively (which isn't hard to do because fluency in English is greatly encouraged in Scandinavia's public school systems). And that preference for English certainly isn't limited to metal in those countries; from vocal jazz to dance-pop to punk, there are countless Scandinavian vocalists who never considered performing in any language other than English. But Khold is a rarity: a Norwegian death metal/black metal band that actually writes in Norwegian -- in fact, all of the lyrics are in Norwegian on Morke Gravers Kammer. It isn't that Khold's members are unable to speak English -- they have been interviewed in English more than once -- but they have been quoted as saying that they prefer writing in Norwegian because their songs often deal with Norwegian myths, themes, and folklore. The language barrier might intimidate some non-Norwegian-speaking headbangers, which is regrettable because Morke Gravers Kammer has a lot going for them. Unlike so many of the death metal/black metal discs that have come from Scandinavia, this 2004 release is not an exercise in bombast for the sake of bombast; for all its dark heaviness and intensity, Morke Gravers Kammer is relatively melodic. And Khold isn't the sort of death metal/black metal band that chooses to play at breakneck speed 100 percent of the time; if anything, slow and medium tempos have the upper hand on Morke Gravers Kammer (although the material is far from doom metal). This CD isn't groundbreaking by 2004 standards; Darkthrone, Mayhem, and Immortal (three of Khold's influences) have done this type of thing before. Nonetheless, Morke Gravers Kammer is an appealing example of the more musical and intricate side of Nordic death metal/black metal.

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