Saturday, February 26, 2011

COLDSPELL: "Out From The Cold"

Rating: 7/10

Escape 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

I remember reviewing a demo from this bunch, and being quite impressed by the quality of it. The only thing the demo songs were lacking was memorable hooks. The band did land themselves a deal with Escape Music, recorded a well-recieved first album that I haven't heard, and have now released their second effort via the same label.

The band still manages to impress me with the overall quality of the performances, arrangements and the production. What's more, they've come up with some really memorable hooks this time. Their European-sounding melodic hard rock (Pink Cream 69 meets Europe) is the kind of stuff that I normally enjoy, yet I'm not completely sold on this album. At their best Coldspell is brilliant, but I'm sorry to say that half of the material doesn't really put me under its' spell, if you excuse the pun...

Many of the band's weaker songs are somewhat midtempo, I might even say "plodding". The band's first video track "Heroes" is a good example of that, a midtempo heavy rocker with a chorus that just doesn't grab me at all. "Save Our Souls", "Fate" and "Six Feet Under" (to name a few) are similar, well performed yet a bit bland hard rock. However, when the band raises the tempo, they suddenly start sounding much better. Right after the aforementioned opener "Heroes" they give us the rather good "Run For Your Life", followed by the album's strongest midtempo track "One In A Million". The album's absolute highlights come a little later, namely tracks number 5 and 9, "Time" and "Seven Wonders". Now this is what I'm talking about! These songs don't plod along, they roll, and both have superb choruses. Two nominees for the "Best Of 2011" list, mark my words...

With 12 tracks, this album is maybe a couple of songs too long for its' own good, but credit where credit's due - some bands could never come up with a song as good as "Time" or "Seven Wonders". For that, I'm willing to forgive the band for a plodder or two... but not them all, hence the rating. More uptempo stuff for the next album please, and maybe a big ballad too?


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