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Cold Crypt - Bearing The Light - 40%

Witchfvcker, April 24th, 2014

Guildford-born Cold Crypt is a one-man black metal project formed in 2012. Conceived by the elusive Raze, the sophomore-effort Bearing The Light is an unrelenting assault bearing traces of Xasthur, Striborg, and Ildjarn.

The backbone of Bearing The Light consists of programmed drums, mechanical gnawing riffs, and generous use of distortion. Borrowing in spades from Xasthur’s malevolent and dense atmospheric works, Cold Crypt stirs a pot of bleak dark ambient interludes and raw black metal. While the industrial-tinged black metal goes out of its way to create oppressive incursions, the electronic drones are attempts at establishing dystopian hellscapes. As a side note, the use of samples throughout the album is puzzling. From the recent Da Vinci Code-movie featuring Tom Hanks to Evil Dead 2, it’s not what you’d typically hear in this kind of project.

Rather pathetically, the uniqueness of Cold Crypt stops at his unorthodox choice of movie quotes. Although the similarities to other ambient black metal acts are obvious, the harshness of Bearing The Light is an unfortunate detriment. Where Xasthur’s pulsating repetition is often narcotic in its denseness, Cold Crypt is almost completely devoid of subtlety. The numerous instrumental lulls are sometimes eerie enough to paint a feverish picture, but for the most part they are barely adequate ambient tracks with an over-reliance on sampling and distorted synths.

As a one-man band, Cold Crypt is almost embarrassing in its genericism. The overabundance of drone and distortion is simply not enough to warrant attention, and while a few of the tracks are listenable, Bearing The Light rings empty in my ears. This one can safely be ignored unless you're compulsively pining for some mediocre ambient black metal.


Written for The Metal Observer

Bearing the Light - 95%

wolf 87, March 5th, 2014

After hearing Cold Crypt‘s 2012 offering, Darkest Symphonies, I knew that this would be an artist to keep an eye on. With an even more focused attack this time around, it’s safe to say that Bearing the Light takes Cold Crypt from slightly creepy to altogether unsettling. For those who enjoyed the first album at all or for anybody who loves getting lost in the density and sense of dread in extreme music, give this a read and a listen.

This project’s sample-laden brand of black metal paired with distorted beyond recognition synthesizers is all about atmosphere. Atmosphere in this case relies heavily on the pure intensity of texture, whether it’s in vocals that distort so severely they feel like a howling wind, guitars that are layered to an almost oppressive degree, or synth tones that may fit more into a harsh noise album than anything conventional electronic fans would expect. There’s something smothering to it and it’s Cold Crypt’s strongest suit. That’s not to say that the minimal passages of eerie keys aren’t terrific ways of accenting a generally horrifying experience, but Cold Crypt’s ability to kick things into full swing at a moment’s notice is its real strength. At times, like in “44”, the music gets to an almost cosmic bliss for a moment only to lead to an even more chilling set of sounds. While the inevitable decay is to be expected, it delivers nonetheless, creating a truly satisfying experience as a fan of solid, creepy black metal and electronic music.

The perfect pairing of”Slaughtered Gender” followed by “Her Plague is Man” is a personal favorite of mine on the album, with a militaristic marching beat setting the stage for an ominous swelling song that leads into a companion piece (in title and theme if nothing else) that is almost an opposite in sound, with aggressive drumming and vocals occasionally dissolving into murky synth tones that seem to come through the other end of a transmission from another dimension. Tunes like these truly stand out as separate from any conventional genre categorization, yet still work nicely under the general umbrella of extreme music. Cold Crypt may be a project that defies description, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a strong chance for this artist to reach a broad audience with Bearing the Light.

Original review by Black Metal & Brews