Released: 30th, Moribund Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Cold Northern Vengeance emerged from New Hampshire, United States in 2002, bringing a mesmerising mix of ambient black and mesmerizing pagan metal to the table and have set the bar high. The new and long awaited album Malestrom has picked up where their last album, Domination and Servitude left off in 2008. However Halestom delivers deeper spell bounding pagan themes mixed with the alluring chaos yet cold melodic riffs seen in black metal. This album is something to be heard and enjoyed, especially on a dark stormy night and let the chaos engulf you.
Firstly the album starts off with Track 1 - Pierced by the Tree. The song starts off cold which holds suggestion to folklore tails of loneliness and abandonment. Through this transportation it brings you into the haunting rhythm created through ambient guitar riffs and suddenly slashes you harshly into the full storm of chaotic instrumental conversation. Furthermore when the hypnotic vocals come in you can feel yourself getting lost and becoming completely immersed.
Next I must mention track 3 - Eye of the Storm, this is due to the dramatically different introduction in comparison to the rest of the album. First you are hit with the alluring and compelling melody and rhythm from the guitar which creates a depressive yet progressive vibe which then eases you in nicely as the drums join in on this intertwining discussion between instruments. Quickly the song seems to transform setting, as the powerful hypnotic vocals come in and transport you on a personal level to a land of cold torment. However as the story and song unfold it gives suggestion of power to overcome all even as you descend further. Finally a crash of instruments gives a haunting chill to change the tone into an assent from this darkened lost pit you fell into. Personally I find this track very melodic and dark yet empowering through strong vocals and guitars to bring you into an ambient madness, which is strangely satisfying.
Finally we come to track 6 - Paradox, Which has an atmospheric and ambient progression to start with. I find this quite refreshing for the last song on the album as it gives off the sense of a build-up to the calm before a storm. The melodic repetition is calming yet emotionally connecting of pain and sorrow from the spirited yet cold tones. The song eventually smacks you with battle cries of war and twists the whole setting into doom and despair, with a haunting yet alluring ambiance. This song leaves you wanting more with the torment of having to wait and see what chaos will be conjured up next from Cold Northern Vengeance.
Overall Cold Northern Vengeances new album Maelstorm is Enchanting and hypnotic with pagan themes of folklore, which is reinforced by rustic vocals and chaotic fresh melodic instrumental riffs. I feel that Cold Northern Vengeance have set a new tone compared to similar bands, as they have created a hypnotising element through the contrast of powerful vocals and guitars. Lastly this album is definitely one to look out for if you enjoy being transported to lands of glory, battle and chaos and I know I will be picking myself up a copy as it’s not to be missed by pagan/viking metal fans out there.
Review by: Alexis Evans