ColdworldSuch are the constant requests for reviewing stuff digitally, I almost missed this one. It was only when people including the band Darkspace were talking about it on social media that I went and had a look and found the promo. Just as well too as everyone saying how damn good this album is are completely right. ColdWorld is the work of Georg Börner (and yes no silly pseudonym used here) from Germany and this is the second album following on from 2008 release Melancholie². Although new to me, the impression I have got is that those in the know have eagerly been anticipating this album for quite some time now.

First track title ‘Scars’ and the album art suggest a journey into mental health and a fractured mind. The gloomy acoustic opening part is suddenly torn apart with some fantastic, driving, multi-layered blackness which surges and drives powerfully away, knocking you right off your feet. Throat ripping screams are added and then a gentle counterpoint in the way of weeping violin adding other dimensions to the already melodic weight behind it all. It’s one hell of a powerful start and easy to see why people consider ColdWorld are a little bit on the special side. There’s some clean vocal parts too of which there will be plenty more later and another thing that is noted is that thwacking the cymbals and make them clang and crunch is another utilised method to make this overall more incendiary. After such an impressive opener one wonders how the velocity can be kept up but the simple answer is that as ‘Void’ forms with a slower depressive edge that is not all that we are going to get here and lots of other moods and emotions are going to be explored throughout the course of this 52 minute journey. This one is a hypnotic and totally immersive track that has fragility and beauty within its layers. With some added female choral parts along with the tortured hateful rasps from Börner the overall impact is again stunning even if it is a completely different change of pace from the opener. Not totally barren musically as ‘Womb Of Emptiness” sorrowful though its melody is, strikes as full of life. Suddenly those clean vocals are fully utilised making it all the more beatific and blissful. Comparisons in my head immediately had me thinking of Tim Yatras’ many projects such as Germ and Austere which can only be said with very high regard. This 10 minute track is yet again different from what is before and indeed after but is equally dynamic and emotive, really allowing me to completely be absorbed by it as it suddenly surges and gallops off. The closing line “we won’t find peace” is poignantly delivered with sorrow at its heart before we are dipped straight into the moribund ‘Autumn Shades,’ an absolutely gorgeous and melancholic place to find yourself in.

A pastoral acoustic interlude ‘The Wind and the Leaves’ with violin and guitar is as musically as poetic as you can imagine from the title but it proves the calm before the storm as the bruising weight of ‘Climax Of Sorrow’ broods in with screeching disgust from the vocals. As tears are literally shed it’s enough to get you reaching for the razor blades; Shining (Swe) and Lifelover fans would also no doubt love getting an invite to this particular party. There have been some elements that strike as near classical in parts and the melody on ‘Nightfall’ is something that could have well been influenced from one of the Great Russian composers. Sure they might not have walloped the hell out the cymbals but there is definitely that feeling behind it and it’s yet another incredibly powerful and evocative piece. Instrumental Escape II no doubt following on from Escape the last track from the last album is left to take us out of this fantastic realm and there is no doubt in my mind both these albums have to be purchased. ColdWorld have delivered a near perfect listening experience here and it is one that in a period of music arriving thick and fast from everywhere demands to be heard and treasured.

(9/10 Pete Woods)