Having not released full length album since way back in the previous millennium, Swiss four piece Mindwarp have catapulted themselves back into the scene with their latest and second ever album A Cold Black Day, a wholesome, quintessentially heavy release.
A Cold Black Day is one of those albums that is very hard to pin down into a specific genre. There’s a few heavy catchy riffs, ridiculous levels of speed and intense growling vocals, however this definitely is not a run of the mill death metal album. The best way to summarise A Cold Black Day would be to imagine Heartwork era Carcass creating a crazy hybrid with Devildriver and Soilwork at their heaviest topped off with a smidge of Children of Bodom, then you pretty much have Mindwarp. Their strong, melodeath sound will undoubtedly work to their advantage, as it makes them accessible to a wider variety of metal fans.
Vocalist Frédéric Buschenrieder showcases his variety of talents on A Cold Black Day, experimenting with spoken vocals on opening track Cold Analysis, standard growls predominantly throughout the album and more satanic, screeching vocals on final track Artemis. Buschenrieder is not the only member of the band who is flaunting his talents brilliantly on the album, guitarist Pascal Lanquetin throws down an arsenal of powerful riffs and commanding solos on the album too, reaching insane levels of speed on fifth track Insomnia of Misfortune and eighth track Dark Light.
The sheer speed of Mindwarp is the overruling force on A Cold Black Day. There’s definitely a greater focus on creating raw, unadulterated chaos on this album instead of laying down infectious riff after infectious riff, which can be a downfall at points, as there are certain tracks that third track Descent to Hell that would greatly benefit from the injection of some catchy hooks to give it more of a death metal edge.
To summarise, A Cold Black Day is a satisfying and heavy album that is an easy, well rounded listen. Mindwarp are very accessible, with a strong thrash focus on A Cold Black Day along with some smatterings of black metal thrown in for good measure. Whilst not being quite the unadulterated onslaught of death metal that they would perhaps like to be, A Cold Black Day is still a thoroughly enjoyable release which plenty of metal fans from right across the spectrum will enjoy.
(7/10 Eilish Foxen)