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Coldworker: The Doomsayer's Call

The Doomsayer's Call is the anxiously-awaited new release by Coldworker, a band that combines the strength and speed of grindcore with the growling vocals, heavy guitars and slower, drop-tuned sound of death metal. Some listeners refer to this combination as deathgrind. Call it what you will, but I prefer to think of bands like this more in terms of a hybrid of sounds and styles that bands have been playing with for at least two decades. Heavy metal, after all, is itself a broad category, difficult to define. Whatever its proper name, Coldworker makes it sound good.

Coldworkder's previous full-length releases include The Contaminated Void (2006) and Rotting Paradise (2008). Since then, the band has kept busy performing and writing new songs. On The Doomsayer's Call, Coldworker sounds great. The production is strong and loud, the band tight and focused. Joel Formbrant's vocals, though deep and growly, don't sound abrasive. Instead, they blend fairly well with the group and add helpful textures to the aggressive sound of the band. The rest of the band is in fine form. I was especially impressed with the dual guitar sounds of Anders Bertilsson and Daniel Schröder. Their twin attack combines the various strengths of blending melodies with the requisite crunch of heavy riffs. Listen, for example, to the beginning of "Monochrome Existence" with its long riff-centered introduction. Fans will appreciate, too, the way Anders Jakobson's drumming blends the relentless blast beats with more conventional methods of establishing rhythm.

Coldworker sounds great throughout The Doomsayer's Call. My only complaint is that they didn't blend as much musical variety in some of the tracks as they did in others. I'm not saying they should have done the same things over and over, only that this band is at its best when they work in short guitar solos, dual guitar harmonies, and drum rhythms that reach beyond the constant blast beats. I think this is why I preferred the second half of the album. This may be just my personal preference, but I honestly found that the songwriting was stronger as the album went on. Check out songs like "Monochrome Existence," "Living is Suffering," and "The Walls of Eryx," and notice how they do a little more with rhythm, meter, and playing than some of the earlier tracks. The best (and final) track, "The Phantom Carriage," is a well-realized meditation on the inevitability of death. I loved the way the song concludes with sound effects of a horse slowly drawing the carriage along. In the background, a heart softly beats, a dramatic reminder that life is made up of small moments, but that it can easily end when the beating stops. As Poe understood, there is something slightly uncanny, even scary, about the sound of a beating heart. Is it the vulnerability of such a small organ that bothers us, or simply the fact of death itself?

Before I finish, I just have to point out that "Becoming the Stench" is easily the best song title so far this year. How is it that nobody else thought of that one before now?

Track Listing:
1. A New Era
2. The Reprobate
3. The Glass Envelope
4. Flesh World
5. Murderous
6. Pessimist
7. Monochrome Existence
8. Vacuum Fields
9. Living is Suffering
10. The Walls of Eryx
11. Violent Society
12. Becoming the Stench
13. The Phantom Carriage

Added: February 4th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3043
Language: english

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