This review originally appeared on the website Black Metal & Brews February 14, 2014
After hearing Cold Crypt‘s 2012 offering, Darkest Symphonies, I knew that this would be an artist to keep an eye on. With an even more focused attack this time around, it’s safe to say that Bearing the Light takes Cold Crypt from slightly creepy to altogether unsettling. For those who enjoyed the first album at all or for anybody who loves getting lost in the density and sense of dread in extreme music, give this a read and a listen.
This project’s sample-laden brand of black metal paired with distorted beyond recognition synthesizers is all about atmosphere. Atmosphere in this case relies heavily on the pure intensity of texture, whether it’s in vocals that distort so severely they feel like a howling wind, guitars that are layered to an almost oppressive degree, or synth tones that may fit more into a harsh noise album than anything conventional electronic fans would expect. There’s something smothering to it and it’s Cold Crypt’s strongest suit. That’s not to say that the minimal passages of eerie keys aren’t terrific ways of accenting a generally horrifying experience, but Cold Crypt’s ability to kick things into full swing at a moment’s notice is its real strength. At times, like in “44,” the music gets to an almost cosmic bliss for a moment, only to lead to an even more chilling set of sounds. While the inevitable decay is to be expected, it delivers nonetheless, creating a truly satisfying experience as a fan of solid, creepy black metal and electronic music. The perfect pairing of”Slaughtered Gender” followed by “Her Plague is Man” is a personal favorite of mine on the album, with a militaristic marching beat setting the stage for an ominous swelling song that leads into a companion piece (in title and theme if nothing else) that is almost an opposite in sound, with aggressive drumming and vocals occasionally dissolving into murky synth tones that seem to come through the other end of a transmission from another dimension. Tunes like these truly stand out as separate from any conventional genre categorization, yet still work nicely under the general umbrella of extreme music. Cold Crypt may be a project that defies description, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a strong chance for this artist to reach a broad audience with Bearing the Light.
This album is available in digipak CD from Cimmerian Shade Records and it comes with some extra treats. I urge you to obtain a copy immediately, as any words I can share here won’t quite do it justice.
“… a unified wall of hatred and ugliness.” – Marty (Wormgear)
” …(an) unholy monstrosity… (with) awfully frightening electronic soundscapes…” <a href="The Grim Tower Week 100 (February 10 214)” target=”_blank”>The Grim Tower
Only a limited number of ‘Bearing The Light’/Grinder packages remaining….