Review Summary: You know about that dutch guy that gazed at his shoe…?
Not much is known about the man behind the formerly blackgaze effort known as Cold Body Radiation. With 4 LPs and one EP on his back, being the first release in 2010, the project has effectively evolved its sound from the evocative, and usually meteorologically adverse, black metal climate to shoegazing its way out of the forest and into a, somehow, warmer environment.
The Orphean Lyre
, as one would expect, is coated with a generous layer of distorted guitars, nebulous vocal melodies and harsh keyboard paraphernalia. It is, by all means, a shoegaze album. And it would have been a great one if all the different elements that shape it had been treated with the same level of attention. It’s in the drums, both sound and execution, where the lack of character and cohesion surfaces, sometimes in the form of a questionable use of double kickdrum just for the sake of it or simply due to the insipid choice of sound.
Drums aside, every song in The Orphean Lyre
is beautifully crafted and the album flows relentlessly through its short but intense 36 minutes with ease, almost with too much ease, since there is no time for a brief respite or any moment of unleashed euphoria. The album keeps the pace aseptically, without leaving the safe zone, which in the other hand, works in favour of consistency and unconditional faithfulness to a genre that doesn’t welcome much experimentation anyway.
Opener “The Ghost of my Things” quickly sets the mood for what is to come, followed by one of the highlights of the album, “Sinking of a wish”, a fuzzy and lethargic death wish that paves the way for an epiphanic “All the little things you forget are stored in Heaven”. It’s after these 3 tracks that the slow decay starts, falling short of ideas and winding all the way down until “The Forever Sun”, which closes an album, at this point, already exhausted and dried out.
Cold Body Radiation delivers an appealing album with The Orphean Lyre
, an effort that I can’t help to feel it’s been strictly domesticated to match the criteria, to comfortably wave between the depressing daydreaming of blackgaze and the occasional (and very shy) petting of black metal without taking a single note or hit out of the equation. The future will tell where or what this secretive dutch will radiate next.