Tulus
Old Old Death

Before Khold, there was Tulus, who released 3 albums in the late 90s. When Khold, one of the 00s most consistent (some would say annoyingly so) Norwegian black metal bands went on hold in 2006, Tulus was reformed with 2 of the original Khold/Tulus member Sarke (drums) and Bludstrup (vocals- also known as Khold’s distinctive frontman Gard) and later Tulus bassist Crowbel.

So guess what Tulus sounds like?

At its very core, heavy metal is about riffs. From its Sabbath-ian birth through thrash, black metal’s primitive first wave, death metal’s explosion, and and every offshoot and sub genre since. Despite the myriad of tangents since, the riffs have been the heart of all genres. No one understood this better than Khold, and their catchy, simplistic, riff based black metal. And that is where Tulus resides now in 2020 and after a 8 year hiatus, (I have not heard any of their 90s or 00s offerings) a throwback to the 90s and Khold’s minimalist, plodding, dare I say, grooving, black metal.

A look at the minimalist cover art is a clue to the 31 minutes of stripped down, riffs based black metal contained within. The 10 short, sharp stabs are no frills, riffs based, mid paced, groove filled black metal. No atmospherics, no sweeping keyboards, no intros, just riffs upon riffs upon riffs. If you disliked Khold’s, repetitive plodding riffs, this isn’t for you.  It rarely breaks form with only a couple of more feral blast beats,  and at time has this AC/DC of black metal vibe that’s satisfyingly fulfilling.  But if you enjoy some of Dark Throne‘s more straightforward riffs, and of course Khold’s discography. This is for you.

From  the more energetic opener  “Hel” to the morose slow plod of closer “In Memoriam”, there’s no shortage of catchy, grooving moments to get your head bobbing. Whether its second track “Jord”, the blackened stomps of personal favorites “I Havet Hos Ran”, “Grun Grav”,  and “Folkefall”, which also has a rare blast as, as does “Flukt” and more pure short black blaster “Villkjeft”. The expected Khold influence bleeds through a ton in “Ild til mørkning” (with yet another short, icy blast) and slow burning closer “In Memoriam”.

Ok, I lied there is a short acoustic intro to start “I hinmannens hånd” and the aforementioned closer, but other wise, this is a simple and rifftastic as it gets and doesn’t over stay its welcome. And certainly I’m going to check out Tulus’s pre and post Khold back catalog, as I rather enjoy Khold’s discography.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 11th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: nicholas kulczycki

    I love this band… Pure Black Energy was an album i took a chance on and mailordered on a whim. Those were the days.. back before the internet where you actually had to take chances based on catalog descriptions..


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