The Rickety Old Shack

Violet Cold — Sommermorgen (Part 1) - Innocence

album cover

Following the release of Anomie in early 2017, Violet Cold announced that it would be approximately a year before the next album would come out. What we ended up getting was a triple album of sorts: Sommermorgen would be divided into 3 separate parts, delineated by the various influences that make up the whole of Violet Cold. The first part of this trilogy is Innocence, represents the more downtempo, ambient and atmospheric aspects of the project.

Drawing on influences from post-rock, shoegaze and electronic genres like chillwave, Innocence is easily the most mellow effort from Violet Cold to date. The majority of the instrumentation comes in the form of synths, strings piano and drums. The guitars are sparse, and very fleeting the mix — mostly blending into the slow-building wall of background sound — but still noticeable. The vast, sweeping synths strongly remind me of the Magic Night album, but reconfigured into the core of the songs rather than serving merely as an intro / outro or occasional mid-song change-up.

Innocence is about as far from a black metal record as you can get, but it still feels like a Violet Cold release. As with all of the project's past releases, the production is excellent, retaining the distinct sound profile Violet Cold has established over the years. Each of the numerous instruments are recorded and mixed perfectly, fading in and out when needed, smoothly transitioning from one passage to the next. Despite being completely instrumental, Innocence conveys an introspective and pensive mood; the material shifts through moments of looming darkness, gleaming optimism and everything in between.

Even stripping the formula down to 1/3 of its constituent parts, Violet Cold put together a really engaging album of material on Innocence. Absent the buzzing guitars, muffled, wretched vocals and more aggressive drum beats, Violet Cold still delivers an album that is every bit as atmospheric and emotionally affecting as any previous effort. With a running time of 39 minutes, spread over 13 tracks, every song feels exactly the right length, with some hovering between 3-5 minutes, while others only spanning 1.5-2.5 minutes. "Bring Mich Nach Hause," for example, runs just under 4 minutes and uses its time very well, allowing the piano, drums and saxophone to really lock into a groove and let the mood sink in, while the album closer, "Sum Of Intersections" gets things done in under 2 with a haunting piano-and-synth piece.

If you are at all a fan of Violet Cold, then I feel there is a lot of value in Innocence. Conversely, if the project's more melodic, atmospheric leanings stretch your patience then there is absolutely nothing here for you. I found the whole album quite enjoyable, even if projects like this — and Panopticon's recent double-album effort — tend to serve as reminders that the whole is typically always greater than the sum of its parts. Still, I appreciate Violet Cold's ambition and willingness to experiment on this release.

Summary

The first instalment in the Sommermorgen trilogy, Innocence focuses on the softer side of Violet Cold's patented mixture of disparate genres. The shortest way to describe this album is a drum-heavy soundtrack, as the album leans very heavily on synths, strings and piano. Innocence is comprised of the sonic influences that hold together much of the project's material, as well as providing much of the mood and atomsphere. Your enjoyment of this record will hinge on how much you can appreciate non-metal, instrumental music.

Album Information

Release date: June 1st, 2018
Record label: Independent

Emin Guliyev — everything

Track Listing

  1. Unschuld
  2. Ein Langer Weg
  3. Life In Moments
  4. Luftschloss
  5. Perception
  6. Fernweh
  7. Nur Die Sonne War Zeuge
  8. Schläfrig
  9. Bring Mich Nach Hause
  10. Geborgenheit

Link: violetcold.bandcamp.com

—by Derek

Published: June 16th, 2018.