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Kvad – So Old

kvad – so old


A raw and suffocating type of Black Metal with a cold atmosphere that mixed classic American Black Metal with an Eastern European sound. That is the description that my writing partner in crime FelixS gave to the promising debut of the band Kvad. A duo no longer, Kvad now solely consists of Peregrinus whose work in Solus Grief, Unholy Craft, Praefuro or Darkest Bethlehem may have also come across the listeners’ paths. Regardless of the band composition, it turns out 2022 debut ‘Cold & Dark, As Life’ generated some substantial interest, leading to a deal with the renowned Purity Through Fire label to release their sophomore album ‘So Old’ in 2023.

Where the debut was typified by a heavily distorted and oppressive sound, the new album sounds a little bit less raw. In particular the bass and drums sound a bit cleaner, but the shrill guitars and distorted vocals still contribute to a choking and bleak atmosphere. Furthermore, the better distinguishable bass sound adds an additional pulse to the album that wasn’t nearly as present on the predecessor. Whether it’s due to a somewhat altered production or not, there also seems to be a little bit more emphasis on riffs and not as much overall overwhelming sound. As a result, the connection with Eastern European Black Metal in the vein of for instance Walknut seems a little less apparent. Having said that, it’s not completely gone, and ‘I Long for the Fires’ and ‘Amidst Thunder and Demonic Ecstasy’ are great examples where this is still clearly audible. Still, you could claim that the material has shifted slightly further towards the classic USBM scene, eerie, cold and raw with a distant Punk vibe. Whistling keys in a song like ‘This Was Death’ add to an alienating and gloomy sound, an atmosphere that comes to full fruition at the start of the sorrowful ‘The Forest Draped Black’, which later escalates into a wholly different grim and raging beast.

Whether the promise of the debut is fulfilled is probably a matter of opinion, but ‘So Old’ is certainly a strong follow-up to ‘Cold & Dark, As Life’. Their slightly more American sounding Black Metal with tinges of the Eastern European sound still sounds cold, disconnected, and although not as suffocating as the debut, still raw. And thereby, Kvad remains a rather refreshing band with great potential.

Purity Through Fire

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