Thursday, December 27, 2018

"The Darkest Hour" review by 1340mag

Original review page here:

Poland’s Cold Therapy is the brainchild of Jacek Wolanski. Although, the band have been making music since 2012, this is their first album in two years and it is receiving both a physical and digital release.

Normally, when someone mentions Poland in relation to dark music I think of bands like Behemoth and Vader and Hate and Decapitated and Crystal Viper (one of my very favorite bands), so Cold Therapy is a pleasant surprise in that they are not primarily Extreme Metal, but, rather, they showcase the Industrial and Dark Wave sound of the land. The Darkest Hour is my first exposure to their music and it is “dark and atmospheric” as promised.

First off, this music is not for everyone. It’s been a few years since I have really dug into this genre, but every time a release crosses my desk I am reminded at how much I enjoy the dark, deep synths and the haunting vocals that the genre is known for. Cold Therapy has both of these in spades and it’s production is superb- both tight and atmospheric, which certainly adds to the intensity of it all.

It’s hard to decide which highlights to feature on an album like this. Realistically, all the songs depend on each other which makes it feel like a story in some ways. “Fading” is my favorite track here. It has a slow, thoughtful, almost narrative, build up before it rides the electronic wave into a pulsating, deep, plea for hope. The programming is damn near perfect.

Relentless Torture” is another highlight for me. It sounds a bit like the music is falling apart, as the deep vocal leads it along in a spoken word manner. “Ashes to Ashes” has a mild EBM feel to it in spots, making me feel like it would make for an interesting dance mix. An alternate mix of this song also appears on the album, but it’s a more guitar-centered version. It has a doomier feel overall. “I Remember” is another interesting tune that I kept coming back to. I really dig the synth sound on it and it’s more “upbeat” compared to the rest of the album (although, it’s not upbeat by most people’s standards!). You can’t help but grimace and bang your head slowly as it plays and it leads perfectly into the more fluid “The Light is Dead.”

The Darkest Hour is like a long, cold journey through someone else’s mind. It’s moody and atmospheric and has the deep bass that only electronic music has. If you need a reference point, think about it as more like NovCom, Dive, and Laibach and less like Augenkristall and Mental Destruction. If you enjoy your music thoughtful and Industrial-based then you should give Cold Therapy’s The Darkest Hour a try no matter what.

- Review by Mark Fisher (mark 1340)