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Two Thousand and three, buried but still breathing, The Cold Beyond was lowered into a shallow grave. Entombed and by most accounts forgotten, while by others considered a relic of Milwaukee, Wisconsin's black metal past.
Six years of dead silence would pass before the corpse of this black soul would writhe and pull itself from underneath the soil and once again walk the earth. Three additional years of staggering care would shape up well and on October 27th The Cold Beyond stretched and reanimated its once atrophied limbs fully. The dust was brushed off and the screams and torment were heard once again through both the bands first live performance in twelves years as well as their first musical document in nine, namely the, 'Forever Burning' EP.
Emanating, '...And Then The Darkness Came,' with a solitary melancholy acoustic melody paired with light drumming the stage is set, and soon enough an incising electric riff appears and this beastly carrion of grimness speaks its first words in years. Shortly thereafter the music grows dramatically in speed and vocal intensity, while still keeping an underlining sense of austere grief within the violent hostility. 'To War' begins as a more destructive and speedy affair, initially, but gradually moves towards a dissonant, slower and hopeless feeling with lone string strikes, it eventually erupts into a calamitous piece of black metal artistry.
'Charred' starts with a simple drum intro followed by a hellish scream, before moving in a desolate and sluggish pace the music once again shifts to a purely acoustic melody for the next several minutes with cascading drums following. Although gaining in its intensity, the song never rapidly breaks into speedier territory, but rather into a barren dirge of desperate savagery to its end. 'A Grim Silence' closes out the EP as a simple but very effective and atmospheric instrumental piece.
'Forever Burning' has a very organic and quite simply put, live production. What I hear on this EP isn't entirely different from what I witnessed on the night of this EP's release, which is quite interesting. Nevertheless, it should be understood that the production is underground and black metal in style with raw guitars, loud drums and no bass guitar, though I'm personally of the opinion that some creeping bass licks following the guitar wouldn't be a bad addition at all.
Generally 'Forever Burning' is quite entertaining and through the production and ever shifting musical pace it does have a special quality to it. It did feel like the EP required several listens and sometimes under the right mood and setting, in my case, it all clicked while listening to these songs while hiking through a forest just as the sun was setting.
This EP can in a way also be observed as a demo of sorts as all of these songs are planned for re-recording on the debut full-length, '...And Then The Darkness Came,' though what they've given us so far is pleasing and I look forward to said debut in 2013.
Originally published on, Lunar Hypnosis (http://lunarhypnosis.blogspot.com/)