Cold World

How The Gods Chill

Written by: PP on 01/03/2015 23:52:45

Much has been said about hardcore as a genre reaching a point of no return where no innovation was possible or even desired during the last decade or so. But the last few years have shown us otherwise with truly unique interpretations of the genre sending a breath of fresh air to a place where it was direly needed. Whether it's the poetic approach to lyricism and story-telling by Verse (see particularly their masterpiece "Bitter Clarity, Uncommon Grace"), the fun-driven approach by Turnstile mixing in shoegaze into the genre, or the totally unserious and hip-hop infused take on the genre by Deez Nuts, we've certainly seen our fair share of bands willing to push the envelope. In August last year, a Pennsylvania-based hardcore band called Cold World released their sophomore album "How The Gods Chill" after a six-year break from their 2008 debut. And much like the other bands named in this review, they opt for an entirely different and original interpretation for hardcore than the usual testosterone-driven, camo-shorts clad down-tuned approach.

"How The Gods Chill" is a more serious take on the genre than, say, Deez Nuts, or the fun-driven approach by Turnstile, but it's different nonetheless. The tempo and aggression levels within the songs are often toned down in favour of more groove and classic rock elements embedded in the guitars, not to even mention the multiple hip hop cameos that appear on the album. "Cracks Of Hate", for example, transitions seamlessly into pure hip hop with rapper Mehem Lauren providing the authentic element in the mixture. Likewise, "Hell's Direction" features Kool G Rap for a similar approach. But to suggest the entire album is hip-hop influenced is a bit overkill, even if songs like "Youthful Expression" also draw influence from the genre in the vocal department, in particular. More importantly, the record focuses on straying away from the generic down-tuned two-step rhythms most bands use (albeit some like Terror do it extremely successfully), and instead highlights groovy riffage as it's key differentiating element from their peers.

Here, the result is a very mixed affair. On some songs, Cold World sounds like the most inventive hardcore band in the world that deserves nearly limitless credit for their ability to think outside of the box. But elsewhere, the experimental approach to the instrumentation leads to songs that are just not very listenable from a hardcore fan's perspective. While opening due "Blind" and "The Real Deal" showcase their experiment in a very good light, a worrying number of tracks feel way too anonymous to make a difference. So on one hand, Cold World show what is possible to do with hardcore on "How The Gods Chill", but not every song is a winner, resulting in a decent, but somewhat average final product.

Download: Blind, The Real Deal, Youthful Expression 2014
For the fans of: Deez Nuts, Turnstile, Cruel Hand, Body Count
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.08.2014
Deathwish Inc

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