Year of release: 2021
Released by: Der Schwarze Tod
Rating: 8,2 / 10
KRAHNHOLM continues to improve itself step by step. “A Wind in the Cold Night” is not fundamentally different from any previous recording of the Muscovites, but nevertheless it is ahead of them in everything, as it should be with the new album. Since the release of “Granting Death,” KRAHNHOLM's line-up and music have undergone pinpoint changes that have helped the album climb even closer to the stars.
The most obvious and important change is the vocals. Before, I considered it, perhaps, the weakest component of the sound of KHRAHNHOLM. Perhaps Troy heard this as well, since Draugsvelg debuted with the band on the new album, whose voice we listened to on the outstanding and, unfortunately, the only album of the band DJUR. His singing style remains recognizable even after ten years, and his vocal abilities allow him him to shout to the sky. Of course, this made KRAHNHOLM's music a bit like DJUR; you constantly expect that the gods and monsters will jump out from around the corner, and behind them giants and people, and then they'll start Ragnarok! But I don’t think this is bad.
The second major change brings together many aspects of the professionalism that comes with experience. KHRAHNHOLM's compositions have become more dynamic, incorporating a lot of elements that do their work almost imperceptibly, but have a positive effect on the subconscious perception. Take, for example, the first track: a few years ago, the group would have immediately started the song with these tremolos and blast beats and it would have stayed on this course for all 8-10 minutes. But now the musicians are doing smarter: they enter with a strong mid-tempo riff, warm up the listener, and then kick the throttle - the effect is much more powerful. When the same mid-tempo riff in a slightly modified form is used in the bridge, the effect is enhanced, and the break in the final is already a truly thoroughbred move. There are enough such moments in the songs: breaks, semi-interludes, thrashy The main thing is that everything is done as it should. The sequence of actions is not broken, the thread that ties the tracks together does not break.
However, KRAHNHOLM still could not help but step on their favorite rake. Even if this time they didn’t hit their forehead so hard, the album has an “outstanding” track again, and it turned out to be the title track. The problem is old, typical for many atmospheric albums. While all the other tracks remain coldly aloof, on “A Wind…” the band is fucking around withe primitive evil tremolosYes, this is done more subtly than before, and if you convince yourself well, the track can be regarded as a necessary evil that lives among the icy wastelands. By itself, it is quite good. Yet there is a crack on the surface of our flawless crystal glass. Can you imagine DRUDKH on “Forgotten Legends” suddenly playing a SETHERIAL cover in the middle of album? The ability to feel such moments is what distinguishes masters from professionals. However, even DRUDKH first trained at HATE FOREST, so I hope that KRAHNHOLM still have everything ahead of them. Indeed, on the next two tracks, they guessed to weave aggressive segments into the general canvas instead of pulling the listener out of the astral plane for 5 minutes and throwing him into a wolf pit.
The sound of KRAHNHOLM just got a little better. The group works in its proprietary middle register (or whatever it is called), creating pleasantly cooling vibes. Echoes of WALKNUT, YGG and other forefathers can still be heard, but this is almost independence already. A little more, and new atmospheric bands will be described as sounding "in the spirit of KRAHNHOLM", and after that you can safely retire.
Despite the dip on the title track, “A Wind in the Cold Night” is undoubtedly the best KRAHNHOLM album to date. I don't really want to re-listen the previous works, but I will definitely keep this disc for myself and will periodically turn it on. It's an exciting, energizing journey through the northern wastelands on the wings of that aforementioned nightly wind. The design of the album is also wonderful (details on a video), and the lyrics are very strong - in some places too colorful, but deep in other places. In the near future, a vinyl release is coming on Darker Than Black. I am not afraid to say that today KRAHNHOLM are the strongest of the active Russian bands in the atmospheric genre, (at least until the promised new album of WALKNUT). At least this is music with proper infuences and core, not some faggy hipster bullshit with accordions written for YouTube and limited rainbow-colored boxes with condoms inside.