Released: 2011, Sleazy Rider Records
Beginning as a side project of band leader Brian Huebner, Minnesota’s Cold Colours started life 16 years ago in 1995. Aside from the requisite touring & playing live, the band’s managed to release two full-length albums and three EPs – none of which I’ve heard.
The band claims influences ranging from Paradise Lost to Sentenced, and has an album cover that calls to mind Swallow the Sun, so I had no idea what to expect when I first put on this album. As it happens, opener “Deny, Embrace, Define” is a perfect encapsulation of the band’s sound, which is somewhat heavy gothic metal that leans towards death metal, both in terms of riffs and the mixed clean/growled vocals. You certainly can pick up the Sentenced-influence, as THE GREAT DEPRESSION almost sounds like a demo-album that the Finns might have made between AMOK and DOWN, before they decided to abandon their death roots entirely. Unfortunately Cold Colours’ music doesn’t bring across the power or conviction that was evident on those seminal albums. I do not doubt that the band believes strongly in what they’re doing, but something is lost in the translation.
Perhaps part of the problem is vocals. Both styles, growled and clean, are passable but not particularly powerful either way. While the music definitely has its moments, the just don’t project. An example of this would be in the otherwise musically excellent “Daylight”; the chorus switches off between growls and clean vocals and it works well in concept, but the high notes called for are not convincingly delivered. Yet, in the very next song (“Days of Ire”), the more gruff clean vocals work well.
All told, THE GREAT DEPRESSION is a decent release from a decent band. At this point, Cold Colours shows flashes of greatness, but to my ears, seem to be missing that extra something to make them special.