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Violet Cold > Kosmik > Reviews > NausikaDalazBlindaz
Violet Cold - Kosmik

Good ideas and lots of ambition but the result is very ordinary - 65%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, April 17th, 2019

Checking the CV of this one-man eclectic post-BM project based in Baku, in Azerbaijan, I see Violet Cold has released stacks and stacks of singles and quite a few albums, enough to last the band's fans a lifetime's worth of listening pleasure, since forming in 2013. The latest, "kOsmik" is a very pleasant opus of melancholy yet hopeful atmospheric blackgaze / post-BM music spiced with some spoken-word radio recordings, snatches of what I take to be traditional Azerbaijani music and some jazz elements. Track titles look very intriguing and evocative, with one song titled "Mamihlapinatapai" which, when translated from its original Yahgan language into English, might refer to the intuitive but unspoken connection or understanding that two people facing each other (or at least physically close to each other) arrive at independently. This may very well be what Violet Cold head honcho Emin Guliyev is striving to achieve with this album: that from listening to this work, we can arrive at the same or a similar understanding about the nature of the cosmos and of our existence even though we're all hearing it in different places at different times.

The dominant music for most of this album is noisy post-BM that seems at once cold and depressive but with an underlying optimistic feel that, however hard things may be, there's a purpose and perhaps some reward or redemption, even if it's not a material one. The tremolo guitars are continuously churning and gritty but have a radiant feel. Early tracks are definite earthbound song constructions filled with energy and aggression. Then we come to "Space Funeral", a slow and uplifting piece of haunting and hypnotic ambient BM beauty. The atmosphere is cold and ethereal. If the production had been slightly different so that the sound was clearer, the music would be even better.

The music continues onwards and upwards into epic space-ambient post-BM drama, becoming unashamedly bombastic in its striving to reach the farthest limits of the universe and understanding its existence and purpose. Yet some things about this album stay much the same: the deep gurgly vocals alternating with raspier demon voices and the occasional female vocal (which on the title track is embarrassingly sugarpop disco fluff), the tinny synth percussion, the equally thin and shrill tremolo guitar noise roar. For all its ambition, the style of music and the instruments used are not really much out of the ordinary - there isn't a great deal that listeners familiar with blackgaze acts like Alcest or other space-ambient post-BM bands won't have heard before. The production on the album blunts the sound of the music and I feel there should be a lot more cold sparkle right through this recording. The last track - an adaptation of the piece "Air on the G String" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No 3 in D Major - is intended to sound like a message from a plane of lightness through the dark chaos of the journey we've just been through but its presentation and sound quality make it seem remote and sickly schmaltzy.

Some good ideas are present and Guliyev puts everything he's got into each and every song, and yet the overall result just doesn't quite meet his ambitions. It's as if no matter how hard he strives, or what ideas and visions he has and tries to communicate, the tools he has are very ordinary.