Cold Body Radiation
The Great White Emptiness


3.0
good

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
November 21st, 2011 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


I had partially listened to Cold Body Radiation’s debut some time before I received the promo and my first impressions were somewhat negative – this record neatly fits under the ‘post’-black metal banner (sometimes known as ‘blackgaze’), where a melancholic and depressive form of black metal is combined with post-rock and shoegaze elements. If you’ve been keeping up with the recent trends, you will know that this style is exploding in popularity, offering an alternative to extreme metal listeners who want something a bit easier to digest than raw black metal. Sure, you could call this ‘hipster’ black metal if you want, but I’ll assure you that this is no Krallice or Wolves in the Throne Room. There naturally exists a certain level of pretension with this record, but if you simply take it for what it is, it’s reasonably enjoyable. However, this combination of musical styles isn’t the most original one you will hear, but most importantly, Cold Body Radiation does not make the most of their ‘post-rock’ fusion, with most of the songs meandering into nothingness.

In terms of sound, this is a beautiful album. The clean passages are crystal clear, reflecting the post-rock values instilled in the music, and even when the distortion is brought in the various synths smooth it over. The way distortion is used on this record reminds me very much of Woods of Desolation on their Sorh EP, however it should be known that Woods of Desolation had not intended for that EP to sound like that. What sticks out the most to me however (asides from a decent understanding of soft/loud dynamics) is the way the bass is used on this record. It’s a little strange to hear bass so clearly on a black metal album, but once you work your way through the several layers that is showcased here, the bass becomes the backbone of the album’s structure. It’s very prominent in the mix but in the end I couldn’t really say that there were any sections which made me think ‘what the hell is that bass doing?’

The biggest gripe I had with this record is that I found it to be needlessly long in parts. There are many sections in between climaxes which seem absolutely pointless; they meander through washed out melodies and leave the album lacking cohesion. With such a template, I feel a lot more could be done compositionally – by the second half of the record I was just getting bored of the bits that weren’t markedly emotional. The first track, for example, is used well to open the album and lead into the song ‘Loss’ (perhaps the best on the album), but after a couple more tracks, the same method starts to become tiring.

What is most attractive about The Great White Emptiness is that it plays along with sentimentality and despondency, creating an accessible and inviting black metal record at the same time. For fans of Alcest, Fen, Wolves in the Throne Room and simply casual black metal listeners, this is a highly recommended album. However, as I’ve mentioned previously, this is not a record that I will actively and regularly listen to. It does what it does, and it does it reasonably well, but asides from the fact that I find it hard to sit through this entire album, I’m not even a fan of this style of music. I think that this record can open musical doors for some listeners, whereas for others it may just be absolutely fantastic. For some however, it represents the antithesis of black metal. Simply have a listen to find out where you belong.



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user ratings (66)
Chart.
3.7
great
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"A depressive study of the nature of light."...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
November 21st 2011


14555 Comments


Older review from DC. I'll be posting a bunch of reviews over the next week or so that were written over the last 18 months on the old DC site. Only stuff that's popular here or I think should be popular here though.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2011


17224 Comments


I really really like this album, but I listen to it like I would listen to a post-rock album rather than a black metal album. I can understand where you're coming from though.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


23964 Comments


great review. I'm not really a fan of this style at all so I fee like I'd think more or less the same things about it that you do.

Digging: Taylor Swift - 1989

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2011


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was a pretty great album for what it was. "Post" black metal is a really finicky genre though and contains a lot of garbage, so I think when people hear a post-bm album that's not terrible they sort of latch on.

Wizard
November 21st 2011


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like the way you look at this album from a neg/ pos standpoint in a balanced way. Great review buddy. And what do you mean old DC site? Is the site no longer running?

Digging: Full Of Hell & Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2011


18859 Comments


awesome album, looking forward to their new one which should be our here soon

the middle bit about the bass was a good inclusion though, i really like the idea of a thick bass behind the usually papery sound bm albums go for

Digging: Substance / Vainqueur - Reverberation / Reverberate

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2011


18859 Comments


also, something interesting i noticed a while ago, im pretty sure that the guy who does Gnaw Their Tongues is also a part of CBR and An Autumn for Crippled Children

In GTT he goes by Mories, in AAFCC he goes by MXM and here he just goes by M., and all three acts are from the netherlands and they all have similar elements

rasputin
November 21st 2011


14555 Comments


I really like the way you look at this album from a neg/ pos standpoint in a balanced way. Great review buddy. And what do you mean old DC site? Is the site no longer running?


cheers man

the site's still up but it hasn't been updated in over 6 months as the guy who runs it was MIA. it will be all running soon though

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

awesome album, looking forward to their new one which should be our here soon


it's here

but it's not quite as good as this, it's very christmassy though [:

someguest
November 21st 2011


21200 Comments


how is it like christmas?

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's twinkly :]

seedofnothing
November 21st 2011


3425 Comments


dont really care too much for this album, heard it twice, prolly wont come back to it again

someguest
November 21st 2011


21200 Comments


I was intrigued when you said it sounded like Christmas but that's not a very good description.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you won't get a very good description from me, i'm noctus, silly! :]

Ignimbrite
November 21st 2011


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

noctus bm descriptions:

"hey guys so this is ok but not nearly as good as their last album. noctus is disappointed :["

or

"this is complete and utter crap :["

nah jk ilu noctus, but i'm pretty sure that i'll listen to new CBR when it's done downloading and i'll wholeheartedly disagree with you :]

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

Wizard
November 21st 2011


19607 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the site's still up but it hasn't been updated in over 6 months as the guy who runs it was MIA. it will be all running soon though

Good, you guys did a great job over there.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

difference is i'm not disappointed, wyanqueef :] album's good, just as i expected it to be. i knew this album would resonate with people really well because it's a sound we haven't really experienced before and i knew the new one would just be more of the same, and it is, but more twinkly. if you liked this, you'll like the new one.

ilu too! :]

Ignimbrite
November 21st 2011


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i already 4'd it so :]

and i like the twinkly

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2011


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also i like how the song 'a change of pace' on the new album is indeed a change of pace

well played, cold body radiation [:

Ignimbrite
November 21st 2011


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but new Panopticon is better than that album and this one so yeah



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