Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Figures and Faces" review by Dan Watts (Hooded Stranger)

Original review page here:

"Cold Therapy emerge from the shadows with their darkest, twisted & most sinister chapter to date. Haunting & emotionally challenging this release is designed to enter your soul & taint your every cell. Breath-taking & spine-chilling; you will not come out the other side the same as you went in…enjoy!

1. The Pretender:
slow & menacing; the vocals are chanted with precision; combined with a deafening bass line & eerie piano. A superbly crafted piece that’s not for the feint-hearted. Superb opening track that reveals the theme for the album. Image-soaked & drenched in evil; the Pretender has arrived…

2. Figures And Faces:
cleverly structured lyrics drive this spine-chilling track. Vocals delivered with an evil intent that makes the hairs stand up on your neck. Excellent musical accompaniment ensures this track remains a stand-out piece of the album. Melodic in its Satanic delivery; potent & demonstrous!

3. Scarecrow:
dark & delicious; this track is delivered with such malice & spite you can almost taste the venom. Even the angels in the background can’t tame the evil in this track. Cloaked in shadows this is the darkest & cruellest song on the album delivered with precision & crafted with a mastery of subtle defiance & a desire to corrupt. Minimal in its approach; yet stunning.

4. Night Dwellers:
heavy drums & bass drive this epic into the abyss dragging you along with it. The track grabs you, bites, chews & finally spits you out but not before you’ve been gnawed to the bone. Devilishly dark & tainted; this track breeds an evil deeper than you believed existed. Swirling images cloud this track creating a darker element.

5. Shapeless:
chaotic yet somehow melodic; this track has an atmospheric feel that cloaks you within its claws. Vocals swirl & disorientate leaving you utterly lost & abandoned. There is an order to this chaos but only the Shapeless have control of that. Well created track with clever lyrical structure.

6. The Dark Red:
a more up-tempo delivery leads you into a false sense of security before it closes the door firmly behind you. Great bass drive & programmed drum sequences help push this EBM feeling track onwards into the darkness. Vocals distorted; chanted & menacing leaving you again helpless. Dark electro hasn’t been this dark before.

7. Portrait Of Grotesque:
my personal favourite track of the album. Amazing stomping bass & driving drum sequences. Chanting vocals penetrate your mind delivering the theme deep inside your brain. Saturated in a blackness that is claustrophobic & suffocating; this is how it should be. Small moments of reprieve to breathe before it pulls you back in. Absolutely amazing track.

8. Angesicht Der Angst:
twisted & corrosive instrumental track that reverberates & echoes deep into your soul. Well-produced & structured piece that is driven with a heavy & imploding bass line with screeching synths. Ghostly & hypnotising throughout.

9. The Broken One:
deep bass line thunders this track along. Again sinister vocals with intelligent & cleverly structured lyrics become the focus. This track needed a few more plays to reveal hidden depths to its mastery.

10. A Story Untold [Feat. Fredrik Croona]:
no introduction needed to Mr F Croona; his vocal approach is as expected; with his perfect precision; aggressive undertones & harsh delivery. The style of this track works effortlessly with the vocal arrangement creating an outstanding combination. Deep & hard bass lines; driving drum sequences; haunting images & Croona…a perfect love ballad!!

11. Figures And Faces [Acervus Mix]:
it’s always easy for a band to get the ‘Usual Suspects’ to remix the album tracks [& we don’t mind because they are normally pretty damn awesome] but we also like to hear some lesser known artists who remix from outside the box. Acervus has worked with Cold Therapy before & is an artist who deserves more attention. He has stripped down what was already a superb track & brought the vocals to the forefront. This changes the delivery & sound of the track & adds an extra element. It has a more electro feel & it becomes more atmospheric & electrifying. In fact I prefer the remix to the original & I was already a big fan of the original version. Excellent remix James!!

12. Portrait Of Grotesque [Homicidal Feelings Remix]:
Homicidal Feelings have worked hard to give this mix a more electro feel with the incorporation of layered synths & a new drum sequence. This has made it more danceable & given the track a whole new appeal. The vocals have been re-treated too adding an extra layer. It is a lighter version of the original but it doesn’t lose its theme or claustrophobic or suffocating style that I originally loved about it. Well designed & executed remix.

13. Scarecrow [Remixed By impurfekt]:
this remix loses none of the original darkness but adds an extra layer of deceit & misery to the overall track. The clever drum pattern gives momentum & creates this extra dimension combined with layered synths it becomes more atmospheric & mysterious. Vocals clearer & more prominent. A tense & mesmerising affair. Well crafted & executed remix."