Analysis | KOLD Revels in Solitude on Intet Mere Er

            Winter may be done for this year, but its icy effects are easily prolonged by this Danish duo, who’ve now followed 2021’s self-titled debut EP with the first full exposure to KOLD’s elemental wrath. This name pointedly depicts the harsh but equally alluring realms of their homeland, which become manifest in the aural storm of Intet Mere Er, and the ceased existence reflected in its title is also conveyed among the bleakness of these new compositions. An expanse is laced with melodies capturing various byproducts of isolation, along with some persevering qualities noted as they progress, and other instrumental features are central to calmer passages that diversify the affliction. KOLD forges ahead with the entrancing and contemplative forces of Intet Mere Er, and its spirit haunts with influences venturing through dark mental recesses and beyond.

            A whiteout is cast swiftly by the ravaging launch of “Vinden, Den Kalder Dit Navn (The Wind, It Calls Your Name),” and cold vocal rasps compound its blasts, along with some frenzied patterns in the drumming that precede a mid-paced transition. Fretted accents glare to the groove of this distinguished area, and it slows for a desolate moment to match the dreary tremolos of the main riff, which returns and develops with other notable shifts in rhythm. They flow with nuanced alterations that drive a tremolo hypnosis, and sparse melodic shapes emerge for a cumulative splendor in the arrangements. This passage demonstrates a vast and evocative capacity for songcraft, and it advances melodically on “Ødeland (Wasteland),” where an epic tone contrasts with bleaker riff strains amid blast-beaten and rocking exchanges. The progressions both entrance and disorient alongside further enhancements from calculated percussive fills, and these courses subside for a clean-stringed encounter, with its relative tranquility becoming a counterpart to the elevated pursuits that follow. Rapid soaring currents lead toward a majestic point for the track, and its enchantment lingers until being consumed through the prevailing dismal shades.

            A raw and striking riff course sets in with the full instrumentation of “Forgabt I Virvar (Lost in Confusion),” and certain effects noted throughout are difficult to pinpoint, with their atmospheric melodies taking a lead that drifts back and forth between multiple shapes. Percussive maneuvers ease those repetitions, which seem almost excessive until the trance is shattered by a pointed variant of the initial riff, and it conspires with chords and striding purpose to mark a highly vehement development. The energy here is undeniable, and vocals project a visceral edge into the momentum as it persists for maximum impact. A different dynamic follows in the opening wintry notes of “Et Mørke (A Darkness),” and melancholy is pronounced among its slower rhythms, including the anguished drop of an interlude that also highlights some intricate drumwork. Other escalated paces advance a majestic aura, and its enchanting peak is carried steadily to the realms of “Nattefrost (Night Frost),” where bleakness resonates from a mass of dissonant interwoven layers. Acoustic sections are integrated effectively with this hostile rush, and while they briefly lighten the burden alongside restructured riffing, these elements ultimately converge in a tragedy fading with the last somber contemplations.

            As with these song titles, the lyrics are scribed in Danish and were not included with the release, so their specific contents will remain buried among the frigid soundscapes here. The band’s statement does reveal its themes surround different events and aspects of life, along with an expansion on the darker sides of seclusion characterizing the debut, and others capturing the gratification of various creative endeavors are also explored. Those influences form an intriguing collective with details left to individual speculation, but they are assuredly and aptly expressed within this aural medium.

            Melancholic origins are refined with a sharpened craft on Intet Mere Er, and unbeing is advanced by its fierce presence among the shadows. I don’t believe any keyboards or synths were involved here, but desolation and cold are surely detectable through other atmospheric means, and they harmonize with the traditional methods of grimness to produce striking effects. While a sense of oppression carried in the compositional durations is also appreciable, there is a thought that repetition in certain areas could have been trimmed slightly, and including a couple shorter tracks might possibly benefit the mass. These are only miner considerations, and overall, the arrangements are structured effectively with many layers and dynamic interlude passages woven throughout. Their relentless execution attests to KOLD’s authentic and palpable energy, especially when the elements gather during those momentous points, and Intet Mere Er offers an immersive undertaking to leave one lost between bitterness and bliss.

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