Release DetailsLABEL Relapse
RELEASED ON 1/23/2007
The Contaminated Void
posted on 1/2007 By:
There has been a bit of a brouhaha surrounding The Contaminated Void, considering the involvement of former Nasum drummer Anders Jokobson. It's understandable, especially considering that Nasum, without a doubt, was and still remain one of the greatest powerhouses within contemporary grindcore. Plenty of bands are vying for the throne, but it has been that way long since their departure from the scene after vocalist/guitarist Mieszko’s tragic death. Sentimental attachments aside, I'm glad as hell that this isn't simply a nostalgic retread of the past; Coldworker charge forward towards annihilation with a refreshing vitality.
The big question on most people's minds is going to be how similar is Coldworker to Nasum. The honest answer there isn’t a whole shitload of similarity to be had here, but nonetheless the boys of Coldworker have offered a rabidly competent album of extreme metal, effortlessly blending various grindcore elements along with a contemporary sort of Stockholm tinged, modern death metal. The album opens with the frenzied burst of “Interloper”, quickly setting the mood and intensity at a relative high with effective doses of skin flaying guitar lines and subtle, infectious groove, before the melodic flourishes of “D.E.A.D.” and the rabidly punishing rhythms of “An Unforgiving Season” add themselves to Coldworker’s vitriolic arsenal. From the high velocity grindcore of “Death Smiles at Me”, to the controlled calamity of “They Crawl Inside me Uninvited”, it’s pretty damn apparent this is a band that knows what they’re doing. Be it the ominous rumblings of "Generations Decay" or the distinctively modern sound of "The Contaminated Void", the consistent quality of songwriting and musicianship is evidence that there's a new force in town to be reckoned with.
Despite the exceptional level of aural violence, after a few songs it comes a bit apparent that there’s not much deviation from the norm in Coldworker’s sound, and the predominate chunk of the material tends to tread much of the same area. While by no means a complete recapitulation of previous material, the critical listener might be slightly disappointed with the lack of variety. There's simply not enough variety and contrast between songs to account for much of a difference, resulting in a somewhat predictable and dulled response after the listener manages to catch on to the general idea, no matter how good the original was. This is by no means crippling in regards to the quality of the album, but it is a significant barrier to it stepping into the territory of excellence.
Perhaps some of my critique came from my high expectations, but despite the small flaws here and there the band is impressive in their own right. This is by no means another Nasum, and there’s absolutely no apology from Coldworker to be had. The Contaminated Void is well executed, even if it isn’t exactly anything revolutionary-- albeit there are layers of originality bubbling under the surface. However, I can’t help but feel the band hasn’t quite come into their own enough to stand above and beyond, but as far as I’m concerned this is a damn fine start. As long as the album is approached with an open mind, unclouded by bias, plenty of people will find enough to clutch onto in order keep them content, even if not wholly satiated by the onslaught.
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