Year : 2011
Genre : Black Metal / Death Metal
Label : Prosthetic Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 8.8 / 10
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Book of Black Earth brings you a hybrid that has nothing to worry about its own capacity to live, regardless how it is composed of two extreme subgenres of violent guitar molestation. This American formation delivers soberly controlled, nevertheless furious death metal by utilizing the tools of black metal, spouting a well placed tribute or two towards classic punk vibes here and there.
The Cold Testament is an LP with tremendous power and charm behind the snarl it stands for at heart, and also one that does not sacrifice its own efficiency for misplaced sentiments towards bloated aspirations. With its 36 minutes, The Cold Testament gives you this exact amount of time you will spend with the demonic hound on the cover, making sure that these 36 minutes will be channeled through an evident intent of beating your psyche to an embarrassing pile of spirit pulp. And beyond.
The relatively short spin time of this noise device is a beneficial trade for the special kind of character this album represents, considering how its fabric seems to follow the unspoken rules of an exploitation movie. The Cold Testament LP runs around with its ass on constant fire, with a crazy mojo in its eyes telling about a not-so secretive hope of how this fire might be contagious upon (ear) contact.
The compositions are mature, well structured, and extremely well controlled, reigning in constant success at rendering a full speed truck with no driver in your vicinity. It is a form of organized sonic massacre, one though that is free of the everyday average cheap magic tricks or obtrusive elements to crave easily harvested musical appreciation. Instead, everything does what it does best on high octane efficiency. The guitar work succeeds masterfully at picking-packing the proper menace while remaining genuinely playful and elegant, whereas the drums bitchslap it at will, just to chase it around on top of - and this IS something - meaningful blast beats.
Blast beats, paradoxically enough, are prone to be abused beyond common sense, as the restlessness they express is an emotional register on its own, and many do seem to satisfy with the act of throwing in relatively irrelevant riffage in the background, hoping that the intensity of the blast beat itself will sell the attraction out, no problem. Book of Black Earth, fortunately enough, takes its vision of constant focus seriously, rendering legit riff on top of legit riff without end, recruiting the mere possibility to deliver rhythmic variations and dynamic shifts as the invaluable tool of tasteful flamboyancy. Sounds logical enough? It indeed does, during the spin of this angry affair. It is clear that The Cold Testament has a whole lot of serious and devoted work behind its, and, as hinted, it does not commit the mistake of offering anything else or less than a fabric of elaborate musical sequences sewn of diligent, mature compositional efforts.
The LP shows a furious face initially, and decides to keep the grin intact along the way. There is a whole lot going on in these action packed tracks, flirting with various prime aspects of the genres they seek to skillfully compliment. The layered tremolo riffing to invite the flamethrower feel of black metal is as present and ready to be unleashed as is the twin guitar pair to smash through you with the intricacy of technical death metal. The Cold Testament has the quite welcomed tendency to offer its inventions in multiple forms, and, as such, you will witness the actual riff in different form and shape on the left and right channels.
As for the vocal performance, melody is not particularly present, and here is why : it simply did not get the fucking invitation card. Good old fashioned chest scream is the name of the game here, that reigns totally and completely free of the over-emoted, somewhat laughable, but certainly miserable direction of other-, vaguely related genres. The Cold Testament is a hell hound weighing around 667 pounds, eager to sit on your chest and demand an honest reaction from you. One thing is for sure : you WILL give yours, after it gave you the thorough stare it is most certainly capable of giving.
Rating : 8.8 / 10
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