Midas Fall
Cold Waves Divide Us


4.5
superb

Review

by SaiseiTunes CONTRIBUTOR (26 Reviews)
March 10th, 2024 | 38 replies


Release Date: 03/08/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let yourself float away

Around halfway through my first listen of Cold Waves Divide Us, something interesting happened. I felt myself begin to slip away. Now, I’ve zoned out listening to albums before, but this was the first time where I felt like I had fallen into a trance. I was fully aware of each note ringing through my ears, but my mind felt somewhere else. Call it ascended, call it being zen like never before, but I can’t say that most other albums have had that sort of effect on me.

It’s a testament to the skill of Scottish trio Midas Fall that they were able to craft such a gripping record. For all 47 minutes, they sweep the listener up in post prog rock glory, a melancholic and dark journey that manages to both haunt and amaze at the exact same time. And if you’ll lend me your eyeballs and a couple minutes of your life, I’d be happy to explain exactly why this music is so gripping.

Cold Waves Divide Us can be described in one simple word: ethereal. The most obvious reason behind this is frontwoman Elizabeth Heaton, who’s haunting vocals float through the record, spellbinding the ears each and every time. It’s undeniable that a lot of Midas's impact would be lost if Heaton’s vocals were replaced by someone else’s.

And yet, despite that, Heaton has a shockingly minimal presence on the album, at least from a vocal standpoint. Lyrics on each of the songs tend to be simple and short, either drawn out or spaced out in between gorgeous instrumental passages. This is where the magic of Midas Fall really begins to kick in. Three multi-instrumentalist members deftly wielding synths and guitar and bass and piano? Done wrong, it could be a mess of sounds and ideas that don’t gel properly. But, let’s be real, you’ve seen my rating, you know exactly how well they pull it off.

Midas Fall’s instrumentals on this album are all about building and building. Opening track “In the Morning We’ll Be Someone Else” demonstrates this perfectly, beginning with a somber piano, a couple simple strummed chords, and Heaton’s haunting voice, before drums come in to underscore the composition. This group of sonic elements work perfectly with each other, building and building to a climax in the final 30 seconds that feels like ascending to the heavens.

All of the tracks on this album roughly follow that same formula, and if I had to level any criticism at Cold Waves, it would be that the album does remain pretty formulaic from song to song. But formulaic doesn’t necessarily mean bad, especially when it’s executed so well. Just listen to the sparse notes that litter “I Am Wrong”, or the foreboding synths that open lone instrumental “Point of Diminishing Return”, or the atmospheric title track that perfectly encapsulates Midas Fall’s self-described brand of “miserable prog”. It’s a repeated build over ten tracks, but it never feels old or stale by the end of its run, an impressive achievement in and of itself.

So, combine a hauntingly gorgeous vocalist with a repeated “rise and build” structure over the course of ten songs, all backed up by killer instrumental soundscapes that combine beautiful ambience with soul-touching riffs and drum beats, and it’s no wonder why this album sent me into a trance by track 4 or 5. This is a one-of-a-kind album, nearly flawless in its execution, and I’m not sure the 600 word review I’ve written so far could properly put into words how enthralling Cold Waves Divide Us is. I cannot recommend it enough.



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user ratings (35)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As of right now, Midas Fall only has about 2,500 monthly listeners on Spotify. These guys are criminally underrated

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6nBBFy20JLOfEuFL6dvGn2

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Side note, technically Upside Down was my first Contrib review, but I'd already been planning to review that album. This really feels like my first rev as a Contributor, especially because it's a new release

pizzamachine
March 10th 2024


27270 Comments


Contribooting since 2024

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A whole... 2 days

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


6667 Comments


Alright, a contributor recommends this, it must be good.

But in all honesty, I'm a little apprehensive about instrumentals that are "building and building". I often find the climax to not be enough to justify the tension.

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I will say, this album doesn’t necessarily try to deliver an explosive climax with every second it builds. It’s tough to describe, but it’s definitely not trying to build to an explosion of sound or a crushing breakdown or something like that

someone
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


6667 Comments


What I meant more is that there must surely be a payoff to the progression. Otherwise it is all Idles' newest (aka tension without release)

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ahh I see! I’d say there is an eventual release on most of the songs, though whether or not it’s satisfying is obviously gonna vary from person to person.

I found it plenty satisfying though

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2024


1942 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Sick review, gonna check this

Willie
Moderator
March 10th 2024


20214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Favorite album of the year, so far. Great review. Welcome to the Contribs.

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Willie! Glad to join the roster! Full agree, this is easily a top 10 contender already, and it’s only March

Beardog
March 11th 2024


5232 Comments


Sounds like I have to check this!

Project
March 11th 2024


5835 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had completely forgotten about this band but I really liked the last one and I'm very excited about this too. Good writeup

Pikazilla
March 11th 2024


29822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will check tonight

Pikazilla
March 11th 2024


29822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice I def f with this so far

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2024


32047 Comments


"Cold Waves Divide Us can be described in one simple word: ethereal. The most obvious reason behind this is frontwoman Elizabeth Heaton..."

Ok sold.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2024


6191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just as beautiful as their previous album. Great stuff

Willie
Moderator
March 12th 2024


20214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

For people new to the band, this one is my second favorite, but Wilderness is a clear number 1 for me.

AnimalForce1
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2024


863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That’s the album I’m gonna check next from them for sure, if it’s as good as this one, I’m gonna have a good time

bloc
March 12th 2024


70260 Comments


Nice chilly sounding album, but it feels a lot longer than it is



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