You can also expect new "Figures and Faces" related items in the Cold Therapy's Merch Store, so keep an eye on it!
* INFO: If you decide to order the Limited Edition CD from the band:
• Please keep in mind that the orders can be completed with a small delay, or even finalized faster than expected. You will be updated about the progress of your order.
• Due to the record label's release policy, digital sales and album streaming will be available two months after the physical release date. If you pre-order the CD from the Cold Therapy's Bandcamp or via email, in both cases you will receive the digital copy of the album - it will be delivered to your email on January 14th, 2017.
My first encounter with Jacek Wolanski’s music was rather memorable. There were few dark elekctro projects in Poland, so I welcomed Unsinn’s debut with joy and curiosity. I was a little bit upset, when I didn’t got what I expected – a simple dance aggrotech album, however I soon discovered the potential of this record, which consisted in its somber and thick atmosphere. Since then many years has passed, and Jacek’s as a very productive artist delivered many albums, first with Traumatize and then with Cold Therapy.
If the first project was a little hit and miss for me, Cold Therapy on its second effort “Masquarade Infinite” impressed me with mature sound, skillful songwriting and rather “goth” than “cyber” approach. One year after this release we got third effort from Cold Therapy – “Figures and faces”, published by Advoxya Records.
If I would compare this album to some more famous project it would be early Suicide Commando and :wumpscut: merged Kirlian Camera and In Slaughter Natives, or even such classic figures of industrial sound as Einstürzende Neubauten. Well, it is definitely dark electro, but in a sense of the very beginnings of this genre in the early 90s where the task of bringing the people on a dancefloor wasn’t very important.
It’s definitely somber and depressed atmosphere what matters here. Just give a listen to the first song on the album – “The pretender”. If you thing this very slow BPM song serves only as an atmospheric intro for the album, you’re wrong. In fact, this thick and static structure of noises, melancholic melodies and guttural murmurs of Jacek sets the tune for the whole album. It’s really very consistent entity, so there will be no track-by-track in this review, as really wouldn’t make any sense.
At first I was a little bit upset, because I wasn’t prepared for that. Previous album, “The masquerade infinite”, which review you can find here was also an anti-dancefloor manifesto, however it still follow kick-snare-kick-snare rhythmic pattern, and tracks like “Puppeter” were somehow catchy. Well, forget about that this time. On “Figures and faces” gloomy landscapes are crawling slowly through you ears, and since the album didn’t change its tune this tension isn’t released which makes the listening experience rather difficult task.
It isn’t bad at all – do you imagine to listen Kirlian Camera’s “Todesengel” while you ride to work in the morning, or MZ. 412 “Domine Rex Inferum” as a cool soundtrack for reading an interesting book? Me neither. And that’s the case of “Figures and faces” – this work needs your attention, and if you give it all of the positive energy will be soon sucked out of you. However there’s also a variety in this consistent opus. A variety of neoclassical synth lines, industrial noises, beats and sounds which were thrown into this musical mixture was immense, and I only regret that all them (or maybe majority) are virtual samples, since even some recordings of real sounds would work here perfectly.
Anyway, if someone would insist to choose one or two tracks which are perfect to start with it’s definitely “The portrait of grotesque” – its repetitive, hypnotic chorus will easily infect your spirit with depressive stupor. Also the title track and instrumental Angesicht der Angst are worth checking out if you prefer to try some single tracks before plunge into the enterity of the album. However the latter solution is highly reccomendend, this album should be listened carefully from the start till the end. A strong and ambitious effort that stands out as a very original attempt to rediscover the essence of dark electronic sound.
"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!
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.
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."