Coldbound – ‘The Gale’   1 comment

Recorded at Moonlight Sound Studios, Sweden and throughout Helsinki and Finland, from April 2017-May 2018, ‘The Gale’, by Coldbound, is a deeply intimate concept album, based on and around awareness of mental health issues and isolation. The album’s motto, ‘living is an act of courage’, is designed to support this ethos. Lyrically, it’s aimed at encouraging positivity during difficulties and is influenced by individual challenges.

Due for release this summer, ‘TG’ is available direct from the band, in digipak form and will also be accessible, digitally, both to buy and stream.
Commencing Coldbound in 2012, formed in Helsinki, ‘TG’ is their 4th album, but the first melo-death work they’ve produced – deviating from their previous black metal emphasis.

Intro – Opening with a sombre keyboard intro, as rain falls and thunder breaks in the background. A doom toned guitar riff follows, quickly paced, conveying the light, through the darkness, accompanied by a vibrant Celtic string and woodwind section. Its effective demonstration of the album’s motto and themes is impressive.

The Invocation – A crushingly dark riff and drum section intro’s. The light still shines out of it, though, displaying a consistent message that light always follows dark. Very blackened vocals combine with intelligently crafted arrangements, keeping a light Celtic vibe throughout. Scars Of Sense fans will relate to this.

Endurance Through Infinity – Heavier intro, throwing down the metal gauntlet, but again, it’s immediately tempered with that gorgeous Celtic section. An impacting blend of death vocals, upbeat riffs and heavy drums, with colourful melody creates a very listenable, hopeful sound. Verging on Viking metal, all elements are cleverly interwoven here. It’s fittingly uplifting.

My Solace – Smooth riff intro, melting into your mind. Joined by a strong drum section and then the melody folds in on itself, as it quietens and then unfolds, again, into a stronger, louder volume. It’s just a great combo of instrumentals and vocals, reflecting the mood variations inherent within the mindsets it conveys. There’s a warmth within this sound and it seems to embrace you. Quite apt for the title, it’s almost building up a forcefield of support. A very intuitive track, with lots of engaging features.

The Gale – Hammering heavy intro, growing lighter in volume, before reintroducing that Celtic angle, whereupon it gets louder again, but now, the blackness is encased in light. Always, there’s strength, fighting to get out. The Celtic aspect increases and while the drums effect is such that ‘the gale’ is audible, through them, the cold effects are somehow negated by the ever encroaching warmth.

The Eminent Light – A tunnel effect intro’s, with a steady rhythm and a continuously melodic tone. Guest featuring Paulina Medepona on vocals, her light vocal touch brings out the strength in the accompaniments. A very cohesive feel permeates this and a sense of consolidation creates a fulsome atmosphere.

Winters Unfold – A laid-back riff intro is followed by a crash of drums and a brighter rhythm, balancing out the returning blackened death vocals well. A powerful sound characterises the interchangeably bleak and lightened atmosphere. Ending on the palpable vibrations of a rumble of thunder like stone, the depth of struggles are well condensed into the outro.

Shades Of Myself – Immediate, unhesitant riff intro, there’s a freer feel to this. That Viking-esque element returns, fitting perfectly with the overall mood and style of sound. Picking up the pace around 3/4 in, the whole atmosphere lightens and lifts, taking it back into easier territory. A comfier zone.

Towards The Weeping Skies – Gorgeous, melting velvet riff intro’s, bringing a chilled out temperature to the track. Whispered vocals add an element of mystery, before seguing back into death growls. As the accompaniments seem to blend into each other, the whispers return and with them, a softer tone. At that point, the melody takes on a catchy timbre and pace, continuing in that same vein. Reflective and thought inducing, the timing of the closing rumble of thunder almost ruins it, but it’s caught just in time, by the accompanying light instrumentals and rain.

Overall – A deeply contemplative album, it could have been melancholic and grey, given its themes, but as it is, it’s been saved by the careful arrangement of Celtic melodies and thought-provoking movement of instrumentals. A highly skilled demonstration of the potential within melo-death, to create something unique and unexpected. ‘The Gale’ is far above and beyond the general standard. The level of work and focus involved in producing it is audible and the result is profoundly impressive.

9/10 *********

For fans of Scars Of Sense, Skreamer and NorthHammer.


Posted July 1, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

One response to “Coldbound – ‘The Gale’

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