MARCH 10th 2017

Review by Darin Wall

Hailing from Manchester, UK, Cold Fell are releasing their debut full length album entitled Irwell.  This band plays very ugly traditional sounding black metal (and i mean that as a compliment) tempered with some elements of modern death metal and doom at times.  The songs are rooted very much in the black metal bands of old, but they venture outside of that realm just enough to keep things interesting and not a blatant rip-off, all the while staying loyal to the genre. 

The album starts with Skull Crushed Against Salford Cobblestones, which is a badass title by the way) which has a slow doom like intro, then kicking into some classic black metal riffing and blast beats, letting up only for a short haunting melodic section at the 5:26 mark.  Bone Ceiling starts with a very heavy death metal groove, then kicking into some seriously awesome black metal riffs, and kicking it up to an even more chaotic section to tend the song.  This song was a standout track for me.  Folly (Health and Glory) is classic old school black metal, but the bass and drums do a really cool little groove around 4:00 into the song.  It’s a bit uncharacteristic for a black metal song to have a part like this, but it’s a nice little addition to mix things up.  On Spleen I. (In Vino Veritas) the rhythm section are showing off their chops.  The drums are quite complex here and the bass meanders around finding some cool grooves and melodies.   Some great grooves under some classic black metal guitars, all building to a very chaotic outro.  Spleen ii (Bruised Like Fruit) is 1:56 of sheer black metal brutality.  Nothing fancy, just pure chaos.  The Whip (Armed To The Teeth) for the first 4 minutes or so of the song kinda dragged on for me, but after that comes what I think is the coolest riff on the record.  It’s one of those straight ahead old school metal riffs that just makes you want to smash everything in sight.  The last song Dream Of Seppuku kicks off with some Motorhead tinged black n roll, which is a great change of pace at this point in the album. Personally, I love these types of songs, so it was great for me to hear this one finish the album off.  I hope these guys decide to write a few more like this in the future.

Irwell is a solid full length debut for Cold Fell.  The production is raw, old school black metal.  The drums sound especially primitive, and the vocals are drenched in that classic reverb.  If you dig pure, raw, aggressive old school black metal then you will probably like this album!