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Coldhand > Coldfield > Reviews
Coldhand - Coldfield

Points awarded mainly for chutzpah and laughs - 30%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 24th, 2014

The debut recording by this one-man black metal outfit from Slovenia is a neo-primitive and structurally minimalist (and therefore repetitive) affair. The title track sets out main man Coldhand's modus operandi: a lone guitar and a skimpy percussion skitter accompany the musician's vocal as he declaims his lyrics. It's very like performance poetry and that might well be the intention here. Much of the track is given over to two looping stutter-guitar instrumental passages which I suppose are intended to immerse and mesmerise the listener in the cold world being conjured up here.

The rest of the album follows in similar sparse manner. You really have to use your imagination with some tracks. "Cries from the Dim Distance" features an interesting introduction of field recordings including faint shrieks, rhythmic growl and Marlon Brando's "The horror!" utterances from the famous Francis Ford Coppola flick "Apocalypse Now" but these recordings fade out more or less once Coldhand gets going with his chants and solo guitar. The lyrics are so general that they could be about the events that "Apocalypse Now" refers to or they could be about any great catastrophe that takes many lives, young and old.

Subsequent songs like "House at the Field" and "Flight of Ravens" have a campy cartoony quality due to the way they're put together, the choice of field recordings and spoken dialogue and how these are deployed (rather crudely in the case of the falling water sounds in the earlier track) in the songs. At this point I wonder if this was intentional or if Coldhand just didn't have the skills and facilities needed to produce a more polished recording. The lyrics of all the songs revolve around familiar horror themes but are extremely generic and po-faced simple. There is not any attempt to convey a personal experience of the subjects in the songs. One suspects a computer fed the right words and phrases could come out with more descriptive and evocative poetry.

Unless this recording was intended as a jokey satire on some black metal sub-genres that emphasise atmosphere or a neo-primitive / back-to-basics approach (while their creators actually enjoy a comfy life-style and never have to lift a finger to do anything that looks like work), I have to say this recording is a clunky fail. There's always the possibility though that it might become a classic in the way some films, like American director Ed Wood's "Plan 9 from Outer Space", are classics because they're so badly made and the acting is so hokey and amateurish that they become unintentionally hilarious and you have to award them a gold star for sheer bravado. "Coldfield" falls into this category.

The more I listen to this recording, the more convinced I am that this recording does actually back into the so-bad-it's-good realm of art.

Left Out In The Cold. - 15%

Perplexed_Sjel, May 30th, 2008

The tag ‘atmospheric’ gets me every time. Perhaps, after a run in with this band, I should be much more precise about what I want from a black metal band, especially those with appealing tags such as atmospheric, or depressive. Coldhand are one of the only band’s I listen to from Slovenia. My knowledge of their black metal scene is, as one might say, shockingly shit. I don’t know a single thing about their scene other than, Coldhand are a bad example of it.

Considering the positive reviews I’ve read about some of Coldhand’s material, I decided to see what Metal Archives had to say about them. The Coldhand section states that there are three records in circulation, so I decided to try and find the first, considering this would be the best place to see the evolution of a band. Coldhand’s first full-length, ‘Coldfield’ is an unimaginative, uninspiring and simply unprofessional record. I imagine, with about a week’s worth of practise, anyone and I mean that in a literal sense, anyone could pick up a guitar and play with the amount of dynamism and imagination as this one man band. It’s horrible. There is little to no atmosphere of any of the songs present on this record. Take ‘Cries From The Dim Distance’ for example, it consists of spoken vocals, one solitary guitar, playing a very simplistic riff, over and over again. There are no drums present on this song, nor is there any bass. I suppose you could call it eerie, but that would be a bit of a stretch. This song is a perfect example of how NOT to create black metal. There are no real soundscapes on the record. The guitars play alone, causing no real stir of emotion from the listener, other than annoyance, of course. Song writing is poor. Atmosphere is worse. The main leads of the album could have been performed by a child. I also don't understand the production. On occasions, it changes, randomly and sporadically. Why? I don't understand the intent behind it. Other than that, the production does nothing to increase the popularity of this release.

It doesn’t get much better from there onwards. Although the inclusion of drums, in particular, does come into it, there is still no awareness of atmosphere. The drums sound unprofessional and add nothing to the sound that the guitars make. There is a suggestion that this band are similar to Judas Iscariot … Nonsense. Perhaps the vocals are similar to the aforementioned band, but Coldhand are at the lower end of the black metal scale. What makes me laugh about this album is the fact that the band’s only member added samples of running water and such in order to make it sound atmospheric! That isn’t how black metal band’s create atmosphere. Usually, this is done through imaginative guitar work, or even exploration through keyboards, but no. Coldhand are a mind numbing experience. I was considering reviewing the other two albums, but given the fact that this album is just THAT bad, I may not bother. Whilst this act may come under the term ‘unusual’, they certainly do not class as an atmospheric black metal band, especially one to consider listening to. Ouch, horrible.

Great minimalistic atmospheric black metal debut - 90%

darkinge, March 11th, 2007

A friend of mine recommended me this debut album of this new underground Slovenian one-man black metal band. The first thing that came on my mind was: “I hope that this isn’t just another wannabe ‘true’ black metal release or something.” I put it into my cd-player and immediately noticed that my expectations were totally wrong. This album is just awesome!

First track starts with great riff which is very similar to opening riff of Darkthrone’s song Transilvanian Hunger, but when I actually compared them, I noticed that they are almost completely different! The overall album production is pretty on the demo level, often raw and filthy, but this is a great thing, which makes album even more atmospheric and dark.

Album is pretty much based on minimalistic distorted guitar riffs, lot of slower guitar parts, sound effects from nature and haunting vocal, which is great mixture of growl, shriek and clean vocals, and sounds like combination of Abbath’s and Quorthon’s vocals, that turns out to be very original. The first and the third track, that are faster than other tracks, also contain some drum programming which is pretty monotonous but fits in the songs very well and doesn’t ruin them at all. Then we have here two slow paced songs, which are not the most typical black metal songs I must say. First is Cries From The Dim Distance, which reminds me on the old Judas Iscariot style and has great ‘horror’ intro, and the second one that is called Flight Of Ravens. This song is one of the most unusual black metal songs I have ever heard. It starts with the part from the movie The Raven, where famous actor Vincent Price recites the first three verses of the song with the same name as movie, written by Edgar Allan Poe. The rest of song is pretty much based on the powerful chorus and very simplified guitar riffs. These riffs are break down by keyboard part that turns out really good. Don’t worry, you won’t find keyboards anywhere else on this album. ;-) The last song is called Sound Of The Northern Winds, and is great hymn to dark, cold Mother Nature and perfectly finishes the album. One of the most important thing of this album is, that even the songs are pretty long (average song is about 7 minutes long) and based on very minimalistic, simplified riffs, it never becomes monotonous or boring. You won’t even notice that there is no bass in the songs.

Also the lyrics on this album are very deep, as Coldhand says on his website, but not at the first sight. You really need some time and energy if you want understand their deeper meaning. I must also praise the booklet design and pictures in it, made by Coldhand himself, as he claims. Wonderful pictures of dark, mystic landscapes. Perfect.

I really recommend this album to fans of bands like old Ulver, Bathory, Darkthrone, Judas Iscariot and fans of underground atmospheric black metal in general. If Coldhand continues in this way, he can become well known musician in black metal underground scene.

Advice: Try to listen this album at night, somewhere out in the woods. Amazing experience, I guarantee you.