Band: Kólga

Album: Black Tides

Country: USA

Genre: Blackened Surf Rock

Release Date: March 29th, 2024

Label: Otitis Media Records

Author: Michael Litteral


Some say black metal is just surf rock with distortion. I laugh at this assessment, but I see where they are coming from. Tremolo guitar picking with odd scales, synth vibes, and atmospheres that can be heard and felt.


Now, with all of this in mind, what if we ‘blackened’ surf rock? Specifically, dial in those weird scales to give it a creepy, unresolved feeling, while giving it some shrieks from the shallow grave. How would that sound?


All the way from Dallas, Texas, Kólga take a crack at it with their debut album, “Black Tides.”  And man! Does it sound ten times better in person than it sounds on paper. I was very skeptical when I saw the album art and the description that was below it, but pressing play, and starting the album with Space Beach Massacre was all I needed to be committed to see this album all the way through.


As long as it’s past dusk, vampires can go and enjoy the beach, right? Because that’s what I envision while listening to the album.


I’m a big fan of Devil Master, and with “Black Tides” overall vibe, demeanor, and atmosphere, I couldn’t help but kinda categorize Kólga in with the ‘blackened vampire punks’ movement we have seen lately in the black metal scene. It’s a breath of fresh air in a genre that some consider to be WELL PAST its prime (not my opinion, but I hear it enough from other sources).


Every song is incredibly unique, but the one song that really stuck out for me was track three, Tethys.


Tethys, in comparison to the rest of the album, is definitely more black metal than surf rock, even though very much gnarly and tubular still. It starts off with this dry desert psychedelia intro that blankets the listener with warm sand, very comfortable. As the foundation is laid out, we are given a mid-pace song that cuts the jokes in half, and brings a bit of seriousness to the spirit. An emotional track that really surprised me and it also showed a sense of maturity and musicianship that helps bridge the listener to the performer without gimmicky angles leading the entire way.


Just in time for the sunshine and the summer’s warm embrace, we are given an album that will be played a lot during the scorched daze ahead.



“Black Tides” was released on March 29th, 2024 through Otitis Media Records and can be purchased digitally, on LP, or CD.  They also have some T-shirts that display their logo and it is PRIMO! Listen to the album, Black Tides, and let us know what you think!


Biography:  Michael Litteral is just your friendly neighborhood metalhead who can’t seem to find his way out of the black, and he’s just fine with that.