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Endless Narcotic Fields - 90%

Gavrius, April 10th, 2014

I’m a huge fan of Atritas. I have been ever since the album Where Witches Burnt saw the light of day. But what does Atritas have to do with Cold Cell? Well, in the freshly dug trenches of the battlefield that is Cold Cell you’ll find many of Atritas’ finest soldiers firmly dug in. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, the music of Cold Cell bears some resemblance to that of Atritas, especially to the band’s last album, Celestial Decay. We’re talking about veterans of Swiss black metal, now stationed on a different front line.

Generation Abomination is Cold Cell’s debut, a full-length album that is all about heavy, thick guitar sound done in slow/mid tempos, just like Celestial Decay. If you crave more examples, Wetterkreuz by Eïs also comes to mind or even Ylem by Dark Fortress. The mid-tempo on Generation Abomination aided by the unobtrusive keyboards makes the music very atmospheric, so essentially what we have here is a modern take on atmospheric black metal, but with a pinch of symphonic thrown into the mix. Here and there one can also notice interesting samples and industrial-like chants. These necessary variations (together with the keys) make the songs more complex and add another layer of atmosphere for the listener to sift through. In my opinion, without this subtle layer the songs would lack depth, so it’s great that it’s there. If you’re not a fan of keyboards or these ‘chants’, don’t be discouraged as both are used sparingly in the songs. The key word here is ‘subtle’. So to sum up, the harsh vocals and the heavy guitars remain at the vanguard at all times. In that regard, the album is very compact and unified.

What I’ve always liked about Atritas is that distinct, corrosive hatred that radiated from Gier’s singing (Atritas' lead vocalist up until 2011). Although Cold Cell has a different lead, he is by no means less skilled, so that same hatred, native to Atritas, has found a new home in Cold Cell’s songs. This album is really packed with negative emotions of high intensity and it’s unlikely that anyone will remain indifferent.

The negativity I mentioned is reflected in the lyrics. The themes on Generation Abomination are intriguing and very down to earth. A hollow world, a culture grounded (more like imprisoned) in mass production, alienation, betrayal, false worship, shallow beliefs – take your pick. An accurate and melancholic portrait of the plagues that ravage our modern society, don’t you think?

The production on this album is great. It’s very clear and up to date in the vein of such paragons as In Sorte Diaboli, Angelus Exuro pro Eternus etc.

What about the weak spots? Well, there is not much at fault here. A little more variety would not hurt the music, but not much else is lacking.

These guys have laid a very firm foundation with their debut; being seasoned musicians, it was to be expected of them. Now all that’s left to do is build upon that foundation.

If my review has captured your attention, be on the lookout for the following songs: Endless Narcotic Fields, Next Stop: Disillusion Centre, The Perception of One in All, EndZeitGeist, Generation Abomination etc.