Release DetailsLABEL Listenable
RELEASED ON 10/16/2006
The Uncanny Valley
If you told me that Koldborn are from Poland, then I would probably believe you. In reality they’re from Denmark, but do indeed parallel many of their European neighbors on their sophomore effort The Uncanny Valley. It’s just a shame that they’re most likely destined to lurk in the shadows behind heftier death metal groups from nearby regions. However, more memorable units have covered this ground before, and Koldborn only have two full-lengths at this point, so don’t feel too bad about their relative obscurity because they’re sure to gain popularity if subsequent efforts prove as tight yet more memorable than this one.
Whereas certain tracks have a noticeable thrash influence, a large portion of The Uncanny Valley is straightforward death metal and reminds me of Vader. The recording, or production rather, is stout, though each instrument is sturdy and can be heard clearly – especially the guitar riffs and fitting drum accompaniment. “Lords of Stupidity,” “The Uncanny Valley,” and “Below a Crushing Earth” fly by, but Koldborn manage to lace even their fastest numbers with a fair amount of groove, which is possible since they don’t always adhere to one unrelenting tempo, although they pull on the reins a bit during “Hope Transformed Horizon,” “Disconnected,” and during the mid-sections of other songs. Particularly intense is the latter part of the title track, the riveting bass line in “Last Message,” and the bass drop in “Below a Crushing Earth.”
Despite this release being the epitome of solid, Koldborn aren’t quite extraordinary in any sense, though they are exceptionally talented, which more or less relegates them to second-tier status. Don’t get me wrong: the aggression and musicianship are top-notch. The speed at which they usually relay their material is energizing, too, but The Uncanny Valley fails to offer the striking uniqueness that will set them apart from the crowded death metal pack. I wouldn’t go out of my way to procure this album, but if you happen to run across it, I’d give it at least a listen.