Released: 2000, Diehard
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
A year ago I gave Konkhra’s last release, an EP called Freakshow, a rather lousy review. And rightly so, being the band’s weakest release. I had mentioned I would pick up Come Down Cold, but that I wouldn’t have high expectations given the new direction Anders Lundemark and Co. have taken. The new direction you ask? Death rock. I’m sure that brings to mind Carcass’ Swan Song as well as Entombed, doesn’t it? Sure Konkhra have dabbled in rock for many years now, but they did just that: dabble, not completely engage in it as on this new album, Come Down Cold. Dabbling in it on previous album made the band interesting. They effectively mixed groove with some of the heaviest death metal ever recorded. Come Down Cold is still fucking metal, but more accessible than previous recordings. The songs have simple, more typical arrangements. Guitar riffs are of the death ‘n’ roll variety, and sound more upbeat that the band’s older, more aggressive and angry material. That’s what I miss: the anger and aggression. Listen to Spit or Swallow. Holy fuck is that album heavy or what? Totally abrasive music with a huge, meaty guitar sound. Although the guitars sound nice and heavy on Come Down Cold, they just aren’t thick enough. Maybe it’s just the mix. Speaking of guitars, James Murphy lends his talents once again, although his leads aren’t nearly as interesting as they were on the previous album Weed Out the Weak. But it looks like he’s currently out of the band, and Lars Mayland is in. Lars Schmidt remains from previous lineups, rounding out the album’s sound with as solid of a performance as you would expect from the brutal-looking, bearded bassist. On drums we have Per M. Jensen, who had played on the Freakshow EP, and who is now playing in The Haunted. The music really doesn’t call for anything out of the ordinary to happen with the drums, however I sure do miss Johnny Nielsen. After repeated listens to Konkhra’s killer debut album Sexual Affective Disorder, I have come to realize how much Johnny kicked ass. But I just heard he has replaced Per, so hopefully Johnny sticks around for the next Konkhra album. Anders’ vocals on Come Down Cold are pretty solid, but I’d rather hear him grunt then sing. His singing, combined with the rock-inspired riffing, really makes the album more lightweight than one would have hoped for.
Overall, this is good, solid death ‘n’ roll album. Konkhra now sound like Anders’ other project Daemon, but not quite as gritty and abrasive. It makes me wonder what the point in doing a side project is if both bands practically sound the same. Come Down Cold would completely crush if the guitar sound was like that of Spit or Swallow. But oh well. If you want a death rock album that’s still damn metal, check this out. Besides, this sure as hell beats the shit out of Entombed’s Same Difference. Check out Konkhra’s great web site at http://www.konkhra.com