Before true winter besets us and the deep darks of midwinters eve are upon us, in early December I visited a darkness even stranger and deeper than the longest night of the year. In Rotterdam, there was a delectable lineup, granted us mostly by the formidable Season of Mist. So of to the cold harbor, I went to see the dark strangeness that this eve on black metals fringes had to offer. Continue reading
The day is finally here! The best underground heavy music festival in the world begins today as Roadburn takes flight for its 2018 edition in Tilburg, NL. The lineup is so good, naturally, you would want to see every band, but it’s of course, impossible. Follow our sensible day by day guide to the can’t miss bands each day below. Continue reading
Long-revered European music festival Roadburn kicks off four days of heavy, avant-garde and challenging music and art experiences in Tilburg, NL. Dutch black metal entity Kjeld has been added to the bill due to Cocatenatus dropping off due to a family situation. In a post, Roadburn founder and creative force Walter Hoeijmakers updated attendees on the last minute changes to the bill. Continue reading
After forming in 2003, Dutch quintet Kjeld has finally got round to releasing their debut album, with the wait presumably down to the difficulty the band has had in translating their lyrical concepts of anti-cosmic mysticism and the nature of death into the Friesian language, a difficult tongue to master. Well, the wait was worth it, for Skym (Hammerheart) is a suitably grim piece of Second-wave worship that fans of Gorgoroth and Enthroned will lap up like blood from a chalice.
With a knack for imbuing searing black metal riffs with a feeling of unease and coldness like the true greats of the genre, the band members have evidently put a lot of thought and effort into crafting the songs for this debut effort. The slightly murky production, with the snare drum in particular high in the mix, ensures that the atmosphere is claustrophobic and full of dread while the pace remains varied throughout.
Although rooted in the light-speed riffing of the Norwegian great and good, as demonstrated on the aggressive opening salvo of ‘Tûzen Sinnen’ and the title track, the lurch into mid-paced suicidal depressive black metal territory on the Forgotten Tomb-worshipping ‘Gerlofs Donia’ is evidence that the band have a few tricks up their sleeves, further demonstrated by the monolithic power of classy album closer ‘Bern Fan Freya.’
While their fellow countrymen Sammath failed to stake a claim for the importance of black metal from the Low Countries with the disappointing Godless Arrogance (Hammerheart), Kjeld has proven that relatively gimmick-free black metal still has a future and that there’s a lot to be said in waiting to ensure you get your debut release right instead of rushing things and being disappointed with the result. On that basis, Kjeld have begun their career in just the right way.