Thursday, 8 June 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Coltsblood - "Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness"

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 21/04/2017
Label: Candlelight Records |
Spinefarm Records


Coltsblood refine their unique brand of bleak, bludgeoning doom to punishing effect on “Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness”. This is a mighty collection that marks out the band as one of the most underrated heavy acts in the world.


“Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness” CS//CD//DD track listing:

1. Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness
2. Mortal Wound
3. The Legend of Abhartach
4. Ever Decreasing Circles
5. The Final Winter

The Review:

Coltsblood make a welcome return to dispense more jet-black despair with new LP “Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness”. This release may not have the cold, otherworldly atmosphere of the UK trio’s previous work but it finds them growing in power and heaviness through clarity of production and flawless riffcraft.  

The title track opens the album with a weighty demonstration of the band at their best, thirteen minutes of snail-paced doom warped through a filter of grimy death metal. “Mortal Wound” steps up the pace with a raging onslaught of fetid black metal, sludge and even a burst of crusty d-beat. It highlights a different aspect of Coltsblood’s sonic battery and makes for a compelling shift in tempo in this record’s epic journey.   

One of the most distinctive and effective aspects of Coltsblood’s sound is Jemma McNulty’s lead guitar work. The near constant high, buzzing guitar lines are a stark contrast to the gut-churning low-end riffs and provide an air of menace tempered with dark melody. The climax of “Ever Decreasing Circles” benefits from the dissolution of these lead lines into a hypnotic cloud of bleary feedback that heightens the misery as the track grinds ever slower into a spiral of despair.

 “The Final Winter” brings the album to a close in affecting fashion. It begins with a lone, bare guitar that casts an air of resignation more redolent of slowcore bands like Codeine than doom metal. The quiet is soon shattered as the band lurch into a crushing funereal dirge. Haunting keyboards heighten the air of dark melancholy in a way that recalls Pallbearer’sGiven To The Grave” dragged to a colder, more hopeless place.

Coltsblood refine their unique brand of bleak, bludgeoning doom to punishing effect on “Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness”. This is a mighty collection that marks out the band as one of the most underrated heavy acts in the world. 

“Ascending Into Shimmering Darkness” is available here




FFO: Corrupted, Coffinworm, Conan, Dragged Into Sunlight

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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