Tulus, more than 30 years of original aggression.
This Norwegian outfit never disappoints in putting out solid black metal that sounds as the dark spirits intended, yet with their own sense of melody and groove. With all three members also being the core of Khold (with the addition of Rinn on guitar), could Tulus (Sarke, Blodstrup & Crowbel) deliver an album as strong as Khold’s no-nonsense powerhouse, Svartsyn, from last year?
The album, track by track:
The album opens strongly with the song that gives it its name, ‘Fandens Kall’. It truly feels like a calling from a horned demon hiding deep within the wild forest. If this doesn’t get your blood flowing and turn up the volume instantly, I’m afraid you are not invited to my weekly ‘drink beer and nod your head’ party because this will be played until we pass out…
The second track, ‘Lek’, brings a different sensibility with pummeling drums and bass, along with some stop-and-go riffing and an overall great feel. My head is still bobbing, and now I’m sporting a dirty grin.
‘Slagmark’ starts off slow, with guitar and bass working great together. If you ever thought black metal can’t be both groovy, rocking, and sinister, look no further for evidence to the contrary.
‘Allstøt’ opens with blasting darkened bliss before calming down at the end to drive its point home.
The next track, ‘Isråk’, follows this up with great melody lines and concludes side A of the album (for vinyl listeners, that is).
For the second half of the album, we veer off the beaten path a bit, which is a welcome change of mood, but we’re still firmly rooted in the Tulus and Khold soundscape.
‘Samulesbrenna’ has a slow build-up, with captivating acoustic interludes interspersed between the slow stomp of distorted guitar and bass.
The next track, ‘Sjelesmerte’, starts off with a steady rock-and-roll groove that gets me back into beer-chugging mode. Then it surprises with a very atmospheric chorus with added female vocals, which is a very nice touch.
‘Bloddråpesvermer’ brings back the blasting tempo as well as some acoustic guitars to lure you closer before hitting you in the gut again with some blasting. It’s very dynamic and a real gem of a song this far into the album.
The last two tracks, ‘Snømyrkre’ and ‘Barfrost’, lead us into the snow-covered mountains and have no plans of bringing us back home. We know we are headed into the blizzard, but we follow blindly regardless. As ‘Barfrost’, a somber outro track, closes out this great journey, we feel as though we are left alone among the trees on frozen, snow-covered ground. It’s time to wake up and go home…
Stream the album on our youtube channel here:
Cover art by: Kjell Åge Meland