Violet Cold — Kosmik
After releasing 3 full-length albums in 2018, one would have been forgiven for expecting Violet Cold to take a break from the steady flow of releases the project is known for. One would also be dead wrong, as a mere ~7 months after the release of the Sommermorgen trilogy (review | review | review), Violet Cold is back with yet another full-length record titled Kosmik. After experimenting with albums focused on the various styles that make up the Violet Cold sound, the project returns to its atmospheric black metal roots on Kosmik.
The album opens with a fairly common sample of NASA audio, I actually thought I'd thrown on VNV Nation's Empires for a fleeting moment. From there, the record progresses into familiar territory for those who have listened to earlier Violet Cold albums. Kosmik sounds very much like Desperate Dreams, Magic Night and the third instalment in the Sommermorgen trilogy. This record is faster and more intense, however, as the tracks go through the expected long, moody builds and reverb / delay drenched chords, before climaxing in passages featuring more blast beats than usual, and the inclusions of some twisted and anguished wretched vocals is a new twist.
Aside from veering off into other disparate genres, like the drone EP Defn or the various electronica singles released under the Violet Cold name, the standard albums from the project don't tend to vary too much. Each album shows a steady, incremental progression, and Kosmik continues that trend, although I will say that the addition of the clean female vocals — and the much more uptempo nature of the material features — makes this record the biggest single leap forward. The production is on par with all of the project's past efforts, and sounds very tonally similar to many of its predecessors. The audio is crisp and clear, with the drums riding atop a wall of sweeping, low-end chords and sharp, tastefully distorted lead guitars.
The only criticism I could possibly make is that Kosmik isn't a huge leap forward for a project that dropped a trifecta of albums less-than a year ago. Still, Kosmik doesn't feel redundant, even if the general feel and tenor of a Violet Cold album is a bit of a known quantity at this point. The song writing is still very strong, and the material still boasts improvements and refinements over past work — this is not a rehash even if there is an innate familiarity to the record for established fans. For those new to Violet Cold, I would rate Kosmik as an excellent starting point for those daunted by the 45 singles, EPs and albums the project has released.
Kosmik is a cold, uncompromising album, featuring one of the atmospheric metal genre's most prolific musicians. Running 35 minutes, this record is a concise demonstration of the core components of the Violet Cold sound; at times savage and furious, at others haunting and desolate, Kosmik balances both extremes perfectly. Fans of Violet Cold and the atmospheric metal genres as a whole should enjoy this release.
Returning to the project's atmospheric black metal sound, Violet Cold drops Kosmik, the fifth album in this stylistic vein. Expanding upon the project's mixture of sprawling shoegaze-inspired riffs and buzzing, cold, modern black metal sound aesthetics, the results are a tight blend of disparate styles. The addition of vocals — of both the screamed and clean varieties — is the most noticeable enhancement, though the record as a whole showcases the ongoing maturation of the project and its song writing. Once again, Violet Cold releases a strong collection of new music, giving long-time fans pretty much everything they could ask for and giving newcomers the best place to start to get aquainted with this project.
Release date: February 15th, 2019
Record label: Independent
Emin Guliyev — everything
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Published: February 22nd, 2019.