My Dying Soul

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14/20
Band Name Coldnight
Album Name My Dying Soul
Type Demo
Erscheinungsdatum 2010
Labels Self-Released
Musik GenreAmbiant Black
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Tracklist

1. The Depression Kills in the Cold
2. My Dying Soul
3. Scales of Leprosy
4. Priest of Decay

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Coldnight



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Review @ InfinityZero

01 April 2012

Favours paying homage instead of innovating, but the latter half of the demo shows potential.

Coldnight is a band out of Columbia proposing their musicianship in the symphonic black metal style with flairs remeniscent of DSBM, or Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal. I guess one could call them a happier version of Sterbend, but when a band has only one demo to really go on it's hard to solidly judge them as anything indefenitely. In either case, My Dying Soul is their first demo.

The demo is relatively flawed in it's introduction before the real meat of the music even flares up--not a good sign. The main source of this is the two intros, one right after the other. This really confused me. The album starts via synth and piano for the entire duration of the three-minute track 'The Depression Kills in the Cold'. The keyboard progression reminds me somewhat of one of the melodies in Dimmu Borgir's track Det Nye Riket, although vocals are absent. The first track ends and, instead of jumping into the music, we're given ANOTHER intro. This one takes up two minutes of the second track, titled My Dying Soul. So all in all we have two consecutive introductions to the album that total five minutes. This demo is only eighteen minutes long, so more than quarter of it is spent in the process of introducing it. It's as if the band wrote two different intros and couldn't decide which was better so they threw both in. For the record, the intro starting off My Dying Soul is better than the intro proceeding it for a few reasons. For one, it doesn't remind me of another black metal song. Secondly, there's a blues-y solo in it that sounds great, even when compared to the black metal that shortly follows it. There's no conflict--the melody of that solo is great, even though it renders the first intro totally redundant. It's clear that the first song could've been cut out completely from the demo as it only seems to take up time. The overuse of intros, not just here but throughout the album, wears off the effect that they may have had on the listener. A competent, well-placed interlude can be a way of adding dimension to any album, but when a band uses four of them in a span of eighteen minutes, it's a little much.

When the real black metal floats into place, it's obvious that Coldnight is not here to innovate the genre--rather, like so many other black metal bands today, they are here to replicate what's already been done not only by means of conveying the exact same atmosphere of early symphonic black metal bands like Dimmu Borgir, with hazy-sounding, mid-paced guitars and vocals that sound as if they're echoing over a vast forest. However, the fuzz that exists on this album seems quite controlled and customized, the result of the band's own personal choice rather than lack of budget. Considering this is a debut from a band in Columbia, I'm pretty surprised. The vocals go for Burzum/Sterbend-esque howls, and although they sound alright, they sound at times like a rabid sports fan going "Woooooooo!" in the bleachers. The riffs are tremolo-picked single notes, not really taking up enough listening space. About halfway through the song (3:20), I do notice the guitars a lot. Not because they're doing something unique or special, but because they're ripping off one of my favourite riffs from Under Korpens Vinger, which coincidentally is another song by Dimmu Borgir. I know they're ripping it off because I play the song myself quite often on my own guitar. And they pass this riff off as the hook of the song, too, using it quite a few times before the song slows down and continues at said pace. This, I find is when the song reaches its best point--the instruments and vocals become well-blended (even though I think the vocals are a bit too over-emphasized... and this coming from someone who really appreciates Varg's vocal work on the early Burzum albums), and a subtle keyboard riff seems to levitate the guitar work and vocals.

Aside from what has been mentioned already, I want to press that this is not a bad demo. After the nitpickings about how intros are used and the way that this band is paying homage rather than innovating, I can at least say that what they do is done competently. My Dying Soul seems to be a little shaky in terms of solid conceptualization, darting from riff to riff as if attempting to cover all the bases, the tracks 'My Priest' and 'Scales of Leprosy' are better because they flow better, the riffs seem to carry the listener rather than push them, and they're just more memorable overall. I feel like the demo has much more going for it in the final two tracks than the first two. Highlights I remember is the guitar break at about 2:55 in My Priest, where the keyboards take over for a brief moment, before the guitar comes back with one of the highlight riffs from the demo. The vocals also seem to be much better here; powerful and passionate, with less points where they seem on the brink of cracking up. Although some of the riffs on My Priest come a little close to being riffs from Satyricon's Dark Medieval Times, they are used well and compliment the song rather than sticking out from it like a sore thumb. Scales of Leprosy also has a good pair-up of keyboard and guitar at certain points.

Thinking about this little demo critically, I believe it could've been better as a single with My Priest on the A Side and Scales of Leprosy on the B Side. Other than the interesting guitar solo at the start of My Dying Soul, there's little to be taken from the first half of My Dying Soul. Coldnight's debut demo favours paying homage instead of innovating, but the latter half of the demo shows potential. The album is not great, but it is a competent starting point.

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