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Cold Colours – Northernmost

Cold Colours
by V. Srikar at 03 February 2019, 10:23 AM

If Facebook likes are anything to go by to judge popularity, COLD COLOURS have just over 2000 likes even after releasing 4 full length albums (not counting this yet to be released album). NORTHERNMOST is a unique territory for me on every front. Metal Archives classify them as Atmospheric Death/Gothic Metal, but its fair to say that these Minneapolis lads have lot more to offer than just that. Formed way back in 1995, “NORTHERNMOST” is their 5th full length album.

The album starts with a S/T 4 part instrumental song in “Northernmost”, each of which are spread out across the album and each of them clocking just over a minute and different in their riffs and tone from each other. Definitely unique and great touch to the album. “Nightmare” starts off with a repeated Doom riff beat, before the chaotic growling vocals come into play. The riffs are really catchy and headbangable, and the strong drum and guitar work steady the ship all through its journey. The song throws in some really cool fast paced solos in the end. The duel vocals in “A Life Forlorn” make the 8 min trip so much worth it. On one hand, there is this hard hitting growling Death Metal vocals, and then it is compensated by some clean vocals. The juicy riffs again are catchy as fuck and will make you headbang to eternity, but what puts cherry on the cake is the keyboard work by Jon Rayl, which I would have never imagined to have worked on an album like this one, but boy does he pull it off.

The Gothic feel is brought in by the atmospheric feel of the guitars and constant mid-tempo keyboard work in the background. “From This Pain” has some heavy drum work, with sharp guitar solos in the beginning. It has lots of slow beautiful melodic guitar work, before the tempo picks up and it gets chaotic through the middle. The growling gang vocals and the relentless drum beats works really great here. All in all, the song packs in a lot within its 6 minutes. “Spirit” also swings between the heavy guitars + growling vocals parts and the melodic guitar parts, and has some exquisite solos that are worth the listen. The song isn’t very fast paced or heavy in general and is easy on the ears when the song switches between the 2 styles of music here.

Terminal Winter” brings in some crazy guitar hooks that are unique to any type of Doom Metal, but for once the growling vocals are sung even during the melodic guitar parts and you can almost feel that COLD COLOURS with their music. Its Atmospheric Doom at its best, and with a purpose. With “Heathen”, the Atmospheric - Gothic feel is back with melodic keyboard and guitar work at play, has a bit of Folk Metal feel to it. “The Parting” oscillates between the melodic and heavy parts and has the perfect balance of both. The album ends with a heavy one in “The Pale Heart”. The song starts off with heavy riffs and guitar solos, but continues to slow down the tempo to keep the melody and mid-tempo heaviness in place. The fast paced riffs in the middle are headbangable as usual, and the solos never seem to disappoint.

NORTHERNMOST” is not a perfect album. It is somewhat monotonous and does test your patience here and there, but it’s a great album on and off itself. It explores the possibilities of what melody and atmospheric effect can bring to Metal when you infuse Gothic feel to it.

Production: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Northernmost I
2. Nightmare
3. A Life Forlorn
4. Northernmost II
5. From This Pain
6. Spirit
7. Northernmost III
8. Terminal Winter
9. Heathen
10. Northernmost IV
11. The Parting
12. The Pale Heart
Jaden Adair - Bass, Vocals
Jon Rayl - Keyboards
Brian James Huebner - Vocals, Guitars
Matt Hamilton - Lead Guitars
Mike Andrie - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 22 November 2019

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