The Rickety Old Shack

Violet Cold — Noir Kid

album cover

Prolific and musically eccentric one-man project Violet Cold is back with another full-length record titled Noir Kid. Once again, this enigmatic Azerbaijani musician pushes the boundaries of blackgaze and post-black metal and delivers another strong dose of familiar material that continues to add more elements to an ever expanding base sound.

The opening track, the album's namesake, begins with a very familiar synth and clean guitar intro, but quickly transitions to a ferocious passage featuring harsh, distorted screams and blast beats with an appreciable bounce to them. Everything sounds thicker and fuller, while tonally very much in line with past work. In addition to clean female vocals, Noir Kid also manages to blend chipmunked vocals and electronica influences with cold, buzzing riffs and haunting melodies. There's so much going on on this record, but blends everything seemlessly.

Brief trap hi-hat runs on "Euphoria," the EDM build on "Goodnight Sun," and so many other moments on the album illustrate the variety on Noir Kid as it weaves in and out of heavy, driving passages like the black metal intro to "Synced To Darkness" and shoegazey sections. Somehow this is all done with smooth transitions; this doesn't feel like 4 different songs pasted together randomly. At it's heart, this is still a very heavy, aggressive record, but it expertly veers off down melodic tangents so as to avoid any monotonous repetition and also build to huge, swelling crescendos as layer-upon-layer of instrumentation builds a crushing wall of sound.

As a huge fan of the vast majority of Violet Cold's work, the only album I didn't like was Neuronaut which I think was the experimental noise version of shitpost. Noir Kid is easily the strongest offering to date, a culmination of the experimentation that really started with the Sommermorgen trilogy of albums. Since then, the inclusion of melodic synths — rather than just ethereal background textures — has become more pronounced lends a beautiful contrast with the harsh, blackened sections. Noir Kid's gimmick is the heavy EDM influence and this makes for some of the catchiest material from Violet Cold to date.

This is another homerun from one of the best projects releasing material in the modern black metal genres. Running just 42 minutes, Noir Kid doesn't waste any time and is already a strong contender for my favourite Violet Cold record. This is everything the project has to offer in its most refined form; great production, strong song writing, a tremendous follow-up to last year's kOsmik (review). Noir Kid is already on my short list of best albums of the year, and I strongly recommend it to anyone with a taste for the progressive strains of black metal.

Summary

Violet Cold drops another incredible record, blending electronica influences with the atmospheric black metal and shoegaze sound it has honed over the last 5 albums. Noir Kid demonstrates a truly masterful ability to blend so many disparate elements and keep things coherent, while also retaining a signature sound. Drifting in and out of genres and styles so subtly, the listener barely notices. An impressive release from an ever-evolving musician who keeps outdoing himself — this is very likely the best Violet Cold album to date.

Album Information

Release date: March 1st, 2020
Record label: Independent

Emin Guliyev — everything

Track Listing

  1. Noir Kid
  2. All Heroes Are Dead
  3. Synergy
  4. Battle Unicorn
  5. Euphoria
  6. Goodnight Sun
  7. Synced To Darkness
  8. Gezellig

Link: violetcold.bandcamp.com

—by Derek

Published: March 5th, 2020.