Thursday 14 May 2015

Review: Cold In Berlin – 'The Comfort Of Loss & Dust'

'The Comfort Of Loss & Dust'

Cold In Berlin have become one of the most respectable and genuinely intriguing bands in the UK underground. The band's first two albums were stunning exercises in gritty and arty gothic tinged post punk. But the band's third album sees perhaps the biggest step in their sonic evolution thus far as 'The Comfort Of Loss & Dust' slaps a heavy dose of stoner rock on top of the bands cool gothic sounds. The fusion is a slice of sheer bliss that recalls the black metal tinged post punk of Beastmilk, and the avant garde doom rock of Chelsea Wolfe, as well as occult rock bands such as Jex Thoth and Subrosa.

The Siouxsie Sioux meets Lene Lovich with a liberal sprinkle of Grace Slick style vocals of Maya cut through the cacophony of fuzz to preserve the bands gothic menace. The bass and guitar switch between doom, stoner, and punk riffs while the drums thunder above to create a thick and foreboding atmosphere of melancholia. Songs such as 'She Walks', 'The Bell', 'Dopamine', 'Coming Back For More', 'Pray For Us', 'Ghosts' and 'Natural Order' take this formula and craft songs that simply want to reach through the speaker and bludgeon you.

However the albums crowning glories have to be the short, low-fi and stripped-back 'Fucking Loud' – which comes straight out of left field to confound your expectations – and the sumptuous seven minutes and three seconds that is 'Mysterious Spells' that builds from a dark and somewhat ambient, stripped back track with semi-spoken semi-shrieked vocals into an ultra doomy bass driven monster groove.

The production is gritty, fuzzy and full of atmospheric low-fi touches. But it doesn't sound at all sloppy or rushed. It has that warm analogue feel that Sunn0))) and Electric Wizard albums favour and it works well to balance the cold gothic roots of their sound.

'The Comfort Of Loss & Dust' is a revelation. They've taken a gamble and it has definitely paid off for them. It mangles and distorts genres into a captivating new beast. One that will still appeal to their long-time fans but will open new doors for them with an appeal that fans of occult rock, stoner rock and doom will find hard to resist. This could prove to be a major game changer for the London quartet.  

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