Album Type: Album
Date Released: October 07th 2014
Label: Halo of Flies Records
Old Blood - track listing:
1 – Seed Of Dissent
2 – New Alliances
3 – Strongest Will
4 – Retreat
5 - Demise
Cold Blue Mountain is a Chico, CA-based five piece combining equal parts doom, sludge, anthemic post-metal, beards, cheap beer and bad jokes for a crushing, pretense-free sound.
Cold Blue Mountain came to our attention back in 2013 when they released their excellent S/T debut album that showed the band had a great style of their own. Mixing Sludge, Doom and Stoner Metal within fragmented songs that packed a lot of hard-rocking energy and a great deal of creativity. Cold Blue Mountain is back with their second album - Old Blood. It is a completely different album to their acclaimed debut album. The Stoner Metal vibe has been replaced with a more bleak and sombre Post-Metal affair akin to ISIS and Neurosis. Comparing Old Blood to their debut album feels it was made by two different bands.
Cold Blue Mountain have transformed from Sludge/Stoner Metal tricksters to Sludge/Post-Metal maestros unleashing a tidal wave of loud destructive Post-Metal riffs that to drown you with. The album runs for an emotionally charged 44 mins across five beautifully created songs. The album has the perfect balance between quieter Post-Rock sounds against the heavier and more destructive Sludge/Post-Metal riffs. It may not bring anything new to the Sludge/Post-Metal world but it does not stop - Old Blood - being one of the best Post-Metal albums released over the last few years or so.
Lead vocalist – Brandon - has upped his game since the last album as his vocals have a much deeper and emotional feel. You can feel the pain an intensity that he is putting himself through. The vocals are more of a hardcore-based growl though he makes you care about the lyrical content of the entire album. His vocal performance on Demise is breathtaking. I dare you not to be moved by this track as it's one of the albums standout tracks thanks to the vocals and the superb atmospheric sludge instrumental work the rest of Cold Blue Mountain throw at you with deft precision.
Cold Blue Mountain offer a darker take on the Post-Metal genre compared to other bands. Sure, they offer brief passages of ambient-based post-rock though it always gives you the impression that something more dangerous is on its way. Opening track - Seed Of Dissent - combines intelligent lyrics with hints of dark despair that fully pulls you into their highly volatile world. It can be uncomfortable to listen to as the band unleashes heavy sonic waves that will leave you in a constant state of fear and shock.
Second track - New Alliances - is a rich musical tapestry of ambient noises, slow paced post-rock sounds and angry atmospheric sludge metal riffs that shows you how far the band have come since their debut album. It is a more complex sound as Cold Blue Mountain venture into heavier progressive metal territory. Old Blood maybe too dark, loud and angry for some people but that is one of the albums greatest strengths. It dares to challenge the listener with thought-provoking questions, which there are no easy answers. Old Blood is a thrilling and intense experience that could see the band become one of the next breakout stars within the Sludge/Post-Metal scene in the years to come.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Thanks to Halo Of Flies for sending us a promo to review. Old Blood will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl through Halo of Flies Records on 7th October 2014.
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Written by Steve Howe