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ColdCell : Those

Swiss outfit ColdCell deliver a subtle and viciously charming slab of blackened Post-Core malevolence.

The Czar of Crickets artist roster is a fairly impressive list of underground extreme Metal bands, with releases as musically varied as the bands are creative. More than worth a look if you're into the Post-Metal end of the Doom spectrum. Their signing policy appears to be for bands who willingly do their thing with the utmost of conviction and cause, as well as being 'top-drawer' in delivery and execution. ColdCell are no exception. You might also think that with Rorcal already living and working in Switzerland, there wouldn't be room for another band boasting as good a blend of Blackened Post-Core Sludge. Think again.

To my mind, and indeed ears, ColdCell are even more experimental than their fellow countrymen in Rorcal. Indeed, they stretch the envelope a bit further, both vocally and instrumentally. But what both bands do share are apocalyptic and dystopian lyrical themes along with a musical and artistic presentation designed to steadfastly hold a mirror up to the modern individual's prison, being as they are "isolated in stimulus satiation and shallow-brained social networks". Again, to quote the band, in order to fulfill their musical vision, "everything extreme" is allowed.

That may be the case, but ColdCell are by no means a one-trick pony blast-beating their way into an ennui largely reserved for certain Black Metal projects bereft of any decent dynamics or frankly, any good ideas. In fact I haven't found myself as engrossed by an album of this kind since Process Of Guilt were in their prime (granted, their last release was actually rather good, but you get the idea). ColdCell share much with the Frenchmen too. Musically, as with POG, the progressive shifts in tempo and rhythmic structure both conspire to serve up a fascinating dose of Post-Core malaise, and they aren't afraid to tone things down when required. Certain textured guitar passages float by with some suprisingly off-kilter vocal accompaniment.

Occasionally during the album I found the mix slightly lacking. For example, there are times where the drums fall away from view slightly, lost to the barrage of everything else. A shame given that they pin the whole thing together in miraculous fashion. That said, the album is the sum of its parts, and no one individual or performance needs to be singled out for a special mention. However (!), the vocals are about as versatile as they get for a genre usually confined to aggressively laboured shouting. Overall though, 'Those' is a release rooted firmly within the boundaries of blackened Post-Core malevolence, but with a subtle and at times vicious charm all of its own. Too often bands are derided for playing to the genre faithful. A baffling criticism really. I mean, if it's what you like doing then whose business is it anyway...? And when it's done as well as this then you really have no one else to answer to.

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Growing Girth
2. Entity I
3. Seize The Whole
4. Tainted Thoughts
5. Sleep Of Reason
6. Entity II
7. Drought Of The Heart
8. Heritage

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the ColdCell bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-03-25 by Matt Halsey
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