The Rickety Old Shack

Cold Worker — Interludium EP

album cover

Released in tandem with another EP, titled Nostalgia, the Interludium EP is a significant change of pace from Cold World's typical black metal fare. Interludium is comprised of 6 tracks of very calm, slow-paced ambient music, eschewing the project's modern black metal trappings — outside of a few fleeting moments — to be found on the record. Since the 90s, when Ulver abruptly transitioned to an electronic project from a kvlt act, it's no longer quite so shocking when other bands do it; Wolves In The Throne Room pulled a similar U-turn with Celestite before returning to their black metal niche.

That is to say that while I am no longer shocked by black metal projects offering up releases way out of left-field, I do appreciate the effort — I'm not a completely hollow, jaded husk at this point in time. Interludium is an interesting release unto itself, spending its ~33-minute running time lulling the listener into a sedate mindset, as the material features very little in the way of progressions or change-ups. The fact there are individual tracks feels like more of a formality, as they all blend into each other seamlessly. This is more-or-less the norm for ambient albums, but it's worth noting that Interludium is very well put together and flows nicely from beginning to end.

While I do enjoy ambient albums, and have a number in my collection that I turn to when I need something far less distracting than my usual fare, it is difficult to evaluate them at times. Interludium is filled with vast, reverb and delay-soaked synths that take their time drifting in and out of the mix. There is a lot of layering in the sound, despite the music being extremely low-tempo and lacking any sort of rhythm section — except for a scant few moments in the final 3 minutes of the record. Things pick up, relatively speaking, on the fifth track, as the record ebs towards its final climax, but the first half is extremely docile and minimalistic.

I wouldn't expect a lot of listeners to be extremely stoked about an ambient EP, but I was happy with Interludium. The contrast between it and Nostalgia makes me appreciate qualities of both all the more, but the material stands on its own as well. Still, it's an ambient album, so there's not a whole lot going on, and it's certainly not something I would classify as essential listening. For music fans with broad tastes and a lot of patience, I would definitely recommend giving this project some of your time. I was very impressed with the overall mixing and composition, as the entire record felt way shorter than its actual running time.

Summary

A pleasant surprise from the one-man project Cold World, the Interludium EP is an intriguing collection of ambient, soundscape material with a very fleeting black metal passage at the tail-end of the record. Black metal fans can skip right over this whole release and will find lots of enjoy in the rest of the Cold World discography, while those with more diverse palates should be able to appreciate both the novelty and construction of this record. The short running time is a real saviour here, ensuring that nothing becomes overwrought or driven into the ground before the album ends.

Album Information

Release date: July 23rd, 2018
Record label: Independent

Georg Börner — synths, programming

Track Listing

  1. Interludium I
  2. Interludium II
  3. Interludium III
  4. Interludium IV
  5. Interludium V
  6. Interludium VI

Link: coldworldofficial.bandcamp.com

—by Derek

Published: September 17th, 2018.