Sunday, August 26, 2012

Coldworker - The Doomsayer’s Call

The Doomsayer’s Call
Listenable Records

When Swedish (Örebro based) death metal act Coldworker released their debut full-length effort ‘The Contaminated Void’ in 2006, the album was met with a largely positive response, with many hailing the band’s hybrid mix of old school grindcore and modern day death metal sounds. Not surprisingly, the band was one to keep an eye on in the future. With the release of their second full-length effort ‘Rotting Paradise’ two years later, Coldworker more than managed to deliver on their initial promise, with almost all hailing the album as a huge leap above and beyond what they presented on their debut. Four years on, and Coldworker (Who comprise of vocalist Joel Fornbrant, ex- The Project Hate MCMXCIX guitarist Anders Bertilsson, guitarist Daniel Schröder, bassist Oskar Pålsson and ex-Necrony/Nasum drummer Anders Jakobson) are back with their long awaited third full-length effort ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ – their first release for Listenable Records after parting ways with Relapse Records.
Given the progression Coldworker had shown between the release of ‘The Contaminated Void’ and ‘Rotting Paradise’, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ taking another large step forward. Unfortunately, the band’s evolutionary path is a short one this time around, with much of their latest album maintaining familiar traits to those heard on ‘Rotting Paradise’. But while the lack of progression is a bit of a disappointment, there’s still a whole lot to enjoy within ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’.
Coldworker open up their latest release in a decidedly groovy and slower paced fashion with ‘A New Era’, which interestingly enough reveals a slight thrash-like influence. Dan Swanö’s mix helps give everyone within the band enough space to stand out, while the overall recorded sound (Handled by Johan Berglund) is clear and detailed enough to sound sharper and heavy in the right measure.
After holding back on the opener, Coldworker unleash a full on assault with ‘The Reprobate’ (Which features a guest vocal performance from Ex-Dying Fetus/Misery Index vocalist Jason Netherton), ‘The Glass Envelope’ and ‘Flesh World’. But while all three tracks contain the familiar Coldworker extreme sound, there’s enough variation within the songs in terms of tempo changes and brief passages of groove and melody to keep things interesting throughout.
In terms of really pushing things to the extreme, tracks such as ‘Murderous’, ‘Pessimist’, ‘Vacuum Fields’ and ‘Violent Society’ are sure to keep fans of the band’s grindcore-influenced brand of modern death metal pleased to no end, while those looking for a slight departure from the band’s familiar trademark aggressive sound will revel in the hint of punk within ‘Monochrome Existence’ and the groovier and more rhythmic based ‘The Walls Of Eryx’.
While I’m reluctant to say that ‘The Doomsayer’s Call’ made an impression on me quite the same way that ‘Rotting Paradise’ did when it was released, I will admit that as a whole, this new release still manages to impress enough to maintain Coldworker’s place amongst today’s death metal elite.

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© Justin Donnelly

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