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'Sombre Gates' is the second full-length of THE COLD EXISTENCE, a freezing and smashing band from Sweden, set to unleash their metal storm upon every true supporter of extreme metal. Bearing the legacy of Dissection, their blackened/death metal non-compromising sound is also reminiscent of such seminal bands as Behemoth, Nile, At the Gates and Hypocrisy. Willing to tour steadily through Europe, the band now relies on the super heavy and ultra fast sound of an Andy La Roque (King Diamond) - mastered release. Black/death metal at its finest!
Lords of Metal:
Among the Lords I’m mostly known for my love for traditional heavy metal and the eighties and usually get records from that direction on my monthly metal plate. But I have also never denied my love for aggressive metal! It just doesn’t happen very often that I totally get blown away by a new death metal release.
This month however, that’s totally different! The Swedish formation around singer/guitarist Jan Sallander, The Cold Existence is about to release it’s second album ‘Sombre Gates’ later this month. These gentlemen proved their abilities in 2006 with their debut album ‘The Essence’, but with the new album they bring their well thought-trough, technical, detailed and highly gifted metal to a higher level. For those who are not familiar with this band; TCE plays a combination of death, black and thrash metal done in the Swedish tradition and that means aggressive metal with a healthy overdose on melody and emotion.
Generally put ‘Sombre Gates’ continues where ‘The Essence’ left off. But was it death metal that had the upper hand on the debut, the combination of death and black metal sounds more balanced on the new album and especially the black influences are more justified. Heavy death metal riffs and rough, mighty Viking grunts are diversified with fast, yet melodic and ice-cold black riffs, supported with exciting double-bass work, blast beast and hellish screams. The band succeeds in keeping the legacy of fellow countrymen Dissection alive and there where Jon Nodtveidt (R.I.P.) and co. couldn’t manage to capture the magic of their earlier work on ‘Reinkaos’, TCE knows to summon that feeling and make it endure. And that is not an easy task! They also know to come up with the dark atmosphere their other countrymen Lord Belial and Swedish extreme metal would not be complete without at least a bit of At The Gates. But TCE is more than that, because their technical approach and influences from unexpected corners also reminds of bands like Nile and Behemoth.
The remarkable and definitely not the least important thing is the fact that despite the in the abovementioned influences and comparisons, the band shows an own identity and cannot be compared to any other immediately. This is yet another proof that extreme metal can be intelligent and is more than brainless beating, as some simple souls would like to (make) believe. The music is also filled with interesting details and contains different layers, so that every listening turn is a new experience.
And finally Andy La Roque has again done a tremendous job with the production and has give the album a great sound, with eyes for details, but without losing sight on the power of the whole picture. Altogether make ‘Sombre Gates’ one of the better extreme metal releases and a beautiful addition for every fan of this genre.
NB: Lord Belial guitarist Thomas Backelin has recently joined forces with The Cold Existence!