Hungarian Kolp have been playing the metal of blackness for a little over seven years. Such experience is certainly enough to learn a craft, in some cases even to overlearn it and start doing it wrong. Cured but Not Healed is no example of this latter problem, though. Kolp is made up of two members: Knot, handling all the music, and Jim Jones (oh, yes) handling vocals and lyrics. It seems to be a decent division of labor, since it has brought forth what can only be described as solid black metal.
The album begins with a sort of deconstructed Burzum riff, sounding like someone took apart the opening riff from “Jesus Tod” and put it back together in a strange and slightly awkward manner. When taken together with song titles like “Air Decrease” and “Being my child”, for a brief moment I resigned myself to writing a “post black metal” review. This idea faded rather quickly, for in the end this is really a rather traditional black metal album. Poetic twists and strange musical themes are there, but as a spice rather than the main dish.
As far as influences go, I’ve already mentioned Filosofem-era Burzum, and there are several tracks that go for heavily distorted, repetitive, mid-paced and melancholic riffing. At other times, Panzerfaust era Darkthrone seems like a legit comparison – though the 1st wave/Celtic Frost influences are toned down and the guitars are way fuzzier. The production somehow reminds me of various US black metal demos – it is not surprising that this has seen an audio cassette release as well as one on CD, because this is exactly the type of stuff you’ve been able to find on tapes with b/w covers for decades now – raw, slightly unhinged, full of ill defined but convincing hatred.
The artwork is also excellent in its simplicity – various wood themed, black and white images and the bare bones of information. Given the odd song titles – apart from the ones mentioned above, we also find “Let the Pale Inside”, “To the Pit” and the very gore/death sounding “Decompose (Till Only Skin Remains” – lyrics would have been a nice touch. God knows they will not be discerned by the human ear alone. The vocals are rabid and a bit broken, spewing forth from deep inside the good Jim Jones like he just ate a month’s worth of little demon rats, and now needs to get them out of his system. It’s brutal, and completes the overall impression of the album nicely.
With Cured but Not Healed Kolp have unleashed a very nice piece of raw BM upon the world, and I hope we’ll keep seeing stuff like this being made. Black metal may certainly change and evolve, but really it mayn’t. Kolp have added just enough personality to the genre’s fundamentals to give it personality, without giving in to any impulse towards self-aggrandizing and useless Neumacherei. Nagyon jó!