Cold War Survivor - Bloodworth
Spazzy Thrashy Death Metal
10 songs (45:08)
Release year: 2007
Cold War Survivor
Reviewed by Kayla

There are some bands for whom staying within the bounds of a single genre is a seemingly impossible task. Sikth and Into Eternity spring to mind as two who have managed to take aspects of everything from death to thrash to avant garde and traditional heavy metal and meld it all into one sublime whole. Such an ambitious undertaking, however, necessitates a certain willingness and ability to push your music as far into the realm of the weird as it will go. The old line, “That’s just crazy enough to work!” is the watchword here; if you really want to combine four or more genres, trying to deny the insanity of the idea will only hold the whole project back. Unfortunately, that’s the trap that Cold War Survivor have fallen into; they’ve combined bits of thrash, heavy metal, death metal and hardcore into a fairly seamless whole, but it never quite reaches its full potential.

Overall, the impression that the first-time listener takes away from Cold War Survivor is one of a death metal hybrid, with slower, chugging heaviness instead of fast and furious riffing. American Elegy opens the album with one of the faster, more straightforward riffs on the album, but it quickly gives way to a quirky ascending riff that adds a touch of the kind of spazziness that would do Bloodworth good in larger amounts. Tempo changes keep that thread of quirkiness running through the song and help keep it cohesive through the sudden, seemingly otherwise disconnected riffs and leads.

This is Cold War Survivor’s biggest asset; rather than simply throwing aspects of genres together and hoping for something cohesive, they imbue the song structures themselves with bits of quirkiness to match the sudden strange interjections. Post Apocalyptic Stress Disorder is the best example of this kind of melding, with unpredictable changes and a riff that might be at home on Death Of A Dead Day. This is the kind of territory that begs to be explored more deeply and pushed farther, making the changes stranger and forcing the listener’s attention instead of simply keeping them interested.

This is not to say that Cold War Survivor is simply mediocre, however. The main riff on the title track is one of the best on the album, as is the hook in the chorus of Final Plea. There’s a practiced tightness to the playing and how everything fits together, despite Bloodworth being their first full-length album. The production leaves very little to be desired; the clarity and balance between the elements bolster the spazzy nature well.

Of course, there are also things to be desired, besides a general want of greater intensity and simply more of everything. While the vocals for the most part are two timbres of growls, Know Your Enemy features a couple lines of clean singing, which I heartily wish weren’t there. The production isn’t quite good enough to erase that hollow sound that clean vocals have on amateur recordings, and, while I can’t tell if this is an effect of the production or the singing itself, it sounds a little off-key.

Cold War Survivor have put out a solid debut, tightly played and bearing repeated listenings to fully catch everything they’ve packed into it. Ultimately, however, it doesn’t quite reach the height of its potential, and ends up lacking something nebulous.

Killing Songs :
Cold War Survivor, Final Plea
Kayla quoted 73 / 100
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