Coldworker: The Doomsayers Call

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Coldworker: The Doomsayers Call
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Coldworker: The Doomsayers Call
Death Metal, Grindcore
Listenable Records
February 28th, 2012
Release length: 45:34
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When it comes to underrated Death Metal acts, Coldworker is easily near the top of that list. This super group, featuring members of Relentless, Ruin, as well as former members of Nasum and The Project Hate MCMXCIX, is one of the few bands to actually get the concept right: Play some really sick music together! Originally signed to Relapse Records, their debut offering The Contaminated Void, and their follow-up Rotting Paradise, both were met with plenty of praise, but never really made an impact in the Metal community. Now signed to Listenable Records, this Sweden-based act return with their third full-length offering, The Doomsayer’s Call.

This album brings in a decent variety of material that spans both the Death Metal style, as well as the Grindcore world, both being territories the current band members are known for, as well as the common goal of this group’s end product. The styles are captured with a pretty good audio quality that really accentuates the bass, especially during solos from the guitars that are clearly tuned down low enough to help build a bludgeoning tone to the material with the crisp digital production. The drums often end up chaotic thanks to the number of blast beats that erupt, as well as the audio levels that give them a nice bite. The cymbals come through pretty clear, though some do end up drowned out a bit courtesy of the snares, as some are louder and clearly closer to the mics. This causes the deeper, less tight sound they emit to come to the forefront most of the time when blasting away. The major fault here is that the bass kicks end up being dominated horribly by it. These have a lower, unimpressive click you could mistake for a thud, and between that and the volume they almost always get lost during any Grindcore section, which happens to make up most of the album.

While the bass kicks are practically inaudable, there’s enough of a strong snare presence, and an already deep enough sound from the rest of the instruments to actually make it still sound strong. On top of that, the amount of energy found in every song keeps The Doomsayer’s Call afloat, and can sometime contribute to picking up on the kicks a little more in some blasting passages, as it’s clear they are being hit a lot harder, more than likely due to surging adrenaline. The vocals, however, end up being hit or miss. During Death Metal heavy songs there is a deeper tone to them, but for the most part are rough and louder, as if shouting moreso, catering nicely to the Grindcore elements. But, you can’t help noticing sometimes they can feel a little less intimidating, as if certain notes were strained out. This is something you can easily pick up on “Flesh World,” which is still a great song on the release despite that, and as are many others. “A New Era” does not really welcome the listener in properly though, and makes for one of the more unique experiences of the release thanks to its creeping pace and strong Death Metal tone that caters to a bludgeoning sound. The vocals here even sound deeper compared to the more energetic, blast beat fueled assaults that follow.

As you come off the crushing tone of “A New Era,” you’re immediately met with a nice mixture of varying Death Metal and Grindcore levels. While they may not be the most original offerings out there, the band still manages to make each track sound original, and for the most part shift in and out of one style into the next well. “Flesh World” is a superb track, but the Death Metal opening doesn’t really transition too well into the Grindcore blasting. It is worked out better as you go along, and the vocals have a very energetic approach, mixing well with the rather eerie Death Metal passages between the blast beats. However, “The Glass Envelope” does a far better job at this thanks to the band mixing Death Metal chords into the Grinding passages to the point where you can’t quite tell if the ominous sound is one style or the other, utilizing seamless transitions throughout the entire track to pummel you with absolute anger and fury from start to finish. “Violent Society” is another track worth taking note of, largely because of how much more aggressive it is compared to many other songs. The Grindcore-heavy track is fueled again by plenty fo energy, and a strong focus on the cymbals, using them a lot more in the faster passages to offer a completely different sound to the track compared to the others. The guitar solo here matches the pure insanity of the track’s speed, and the closing finds a fierce warcry from the vocals against the deep, resonating pounding of the drums snares to give it the proper near-epic conclusion it deserves to end with.

With all that said, there are still some tracks that cater more to a Death Metal sound than anything else. “A New Era” is one of them, though it doesn’t really fit in with the sound Coldworker tries to achieve here. “Pessimist,” on the other hand, is a head banging doctrination of Death Metal goodness sprinkled with Grindcore passages. The song carries a strong groove throughout much of it, catering to a far more dismal and brutal atmosphere thanks to the heavily crushing bass and its impact on the guitars. There are a few moments where the music slows down a bit, but when they hit, the guitars usually become richer and build up towards a section of blast beats, or to close the track out. “Monochrome Existence” nearly leaves the Grindcore elements out entirely, having very little influence from them outside some subtle chords that will appear in a bridge or two that feel more oriented to that style. The overall Swedish Death Metal groove is met with a general mid-tempo. The speed works well with the creepier atmosphere that the chords give off. The only gripe here is that the same energy “Pessimist” had, as well as countless others on the album, isn’t here. It’s a little more present in “The Walls of Eryx,” but that extra kick works out well for it considering the slower pace that is met with intense, catchier riffs with a little hint of melody. The double bass kicks stand out very well here, and there are many passages where they come to the forefront moreso, and even have a bit of a strong click to them than they do on “A New Era” and many other tracks before. The chaotic foundation of this song, mixed with a sense of restraint, really works out to make it one of the most important offerings on the album.

The Doomsayer’s Call is an exceptional album from start to finish. Aside the first song being rather out of place, and the levels of the bass kicks, there’s nothing else to really say negatively about it. Coldworker do an exceptional job of meshing Death Metal and Grindcore together for this effort, and any fan of either style, or any of the bands the members come from such as Nasum, will find plenty of solid material to grind and/or head bang along to. The problem is that this is more than likely going to be another release to fall by the wayside, which is sad. Coldworker definitely deserve more attention than they have received so far, and The Doomsayer’s Call is proof enough of this.

01. A New Era – 3:49
02. The Reprobate – 3:12
03. The Glass Envelope – 3:12
04. Flesh World – 4:38
05. Murderous – 3:11
06. Pessimist – 2:51
07. Monochrome Existence – 4:55
08. Vacuum Fields – 3:14
09. Living is Suffering – 3:03
10. The Walls of Eryx – 4:20
11. Violent Society – 3:07
12. Becoming the Stench – 2:43
13. The Phantom Carriage – 3:19
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Coldworker (Band)
Coldworker (Logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Listenable Records via Clawhammer PR.