07 Nov 2022 - Thorsten
DSBM, Atmospheric Black Metal | Eisenwald | Release date: 30 Sep 2022 | Favorite song: Soundtrack to Isolation
Whenever people talk about elegance in metal they mostly refer to Gothic or Doom Metal, but tend to forget Black Metal. Okay, DSBM or Atmospheric Black Metal to be precise. A genre that combines some of the qualities of the former three genres. If you want to experience what I mean with that, then listen to Isolation, the third full-length by Leipzig, Germany-based project ColdWorld.
G.B., the sole mind and real master behind ColdWorld, gives us a perfect example of what DSBM is and with this record should finally become a global player of the ranks of Ghost Bath or Lifelover/Kall. Let’s have a look at what makes a good DSBM a great record:
First of all, the idea of creating pure darkness musically is obsolete. The contrasting of darkness with light can be more disturbing and might create a more contrasting and thus sharpen image of the darker elements which will become dull and shapeless without that contrast. If we take this idea and search for it, we will find great examples in tracks like ”Soundtrack to Isolation” - the guitar picking opening is quickly broken with a sharp electric guitar lines which then itself is being shaped by some wonderfully melancholic violin work. This layering of sounds is the main motif throughout this track which should be high on any genre lover’s list for 2022. Especially the opening shortly after the middle which is breaking down the track in two steps and letting in more and more bright spots is truly enchanting. This year, the Gothic appeal of this part can only be compared to the string harmonies on the Otolith debut a few weeks ago.
Secondly, good DSBM need contrast AND harshness; and on Isolation there certainly are these harsh, dark moments, for example when ”Walz” has the first vocals on the record and this are the sound of the hounds of hell reaching up looking for our throats. Their teeth are sharp even though there are not a lot of words (eight to be precise) but these truly shake our bones.
Third are some really simple but effective song titles and vocals – with track titles like ”Soundtrack to Isolation”, “We Are Doomed”, “Wounds” or ”Isolation Stagnation” the first is surely checked here. The lyrics themselves are also pretty bleak, like ”As the wound has become a scar / The sun is just another star / Meaningless in empty space / This world became a dead cold place” (from ”Wounds”) clearly show that for G.B. the world is surely not a happy place and we are not living in Happy Days.
But wait – since when is music a checklist? True, it isn’t! This record is much more than that – it is enchanting and it is distant, one hears traces of Godspeed and of My Dying Bride, it got its bleak and its bright moments, you will notice pure elegance and roughness – and I have to proclaim that I am not even a big fan of this genre due to all its connections to suicide and suicidal thoughts. Nonetheless, I can see the appeal this music has and the chance it offers to deal with one’s personal demons. A member of a well-known DSBM band told me a few weeks ago (keep a watch out on our interview section to find out who!) that the music is surely something that helps him keep his sanity amid a world with troubles, saddens and frightens him. In that sense, a band like ColdWorld is the total opposite of its band-name – it is a way to deal with all the coldness and austerity out there, in order to give its creator that chance of coping and getting clean with all the problems around us. Of maybe not feeling alone in this scary place called Earth and Mankind. ColdWorld is not a cold thing, but a chance to warm up with this world. Its elegance, its bright moments and its wonderful openings will truly give us all a chance to do so. Isolation is a wonderful record to unite us in order not to be the lone wanderer on the loose wooden planks leading out into the desolate sea on its cover. Thank you, G.B.