Twilight Vertrieb

Even for black metal, Koldbrann is grim. I saw this Norwegian band play recently, and by the end of its set, the crowd was in a dazed stupor. Illuminated by a few flaming torches, the band played mostly without stage lights. Dark (literally) and uniform in texture, songs buzzed and droned, seemingly oblivious to the crowd. As I said, grim.

Thus, Moribund is an apt name. It’s my first experience with recorded Koldbrann, and it’s just as joyless as the live show. That’s not to say it’s bad. Sometimes you want music that feels like slogging through mud with freezing rain. For that, this is perfect.

Adding to the impenetrability are the mostly Norwegian lyrics, with two songs in English. The production is natural and dirty, with unusually warm bass lines. Vocalist Mannevond (who’s done time in Urgehal as a bassist) turns in a functional performance, as does the rhythm section. Guitars are the focus here. The riffs are full of spicy modulations and eerie, jangly parts, though I’m hard-pressed to remember any since the songs are so relentlessly grim.

Moribund is a grower and a downer, both in a good way. It’s available on double LP from Hells Headbangers and on CD from Twilight.