I’m guessing when Decibel readers hear the words “Thousand Lakes,” they probably think of the seminal early album by Amorphis, 1994’s Tales from the Thousand Lakes, but Midwesterners know that the great state of Minnesota is sometimes known as the “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes.” This innocuous bit of trivia here carries weight because long-running Minnesotan death-doom outfit Cold Colours do a better job of capturing the classic Amorphis sound than the Finns do currently. If you couldn’t tell by the spelling of ‘colours,’ there’s definitely a bit of Anglophilia in the band’s sound as well—on the upcoming album Northernmost, Cold Colours often tap into the sweet sounds of the Peaceville Three. The result is melodic, majestic, melancholic and certainly worthy of other adjectives that begin with the letter M.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Cold Colours are self-releasing Northernmost—there’s a pretty big market for this style, and a drought of bands who do it well. Vocalist and guitarist Brian J. Huebner has clearly put a lot of effort into the flow and sequencing of the piece as a whole. Strung together by a series of gorgeous semi-acoustic interludes and boasting songs of varying lengths and levels of metallic aggression, Northernmost is a dynamic listen. Coming in around the middle of the LP, “Spirit,” streaming below, shows all the band’s strengths at once. The sad goth bits feel appropriately doomy and gloomy, and the central riff steamrolls—It’s less about lifting spirits up than grinding them down, but hey, some of us are into that sort of thing.
Northernmost is out on Feb 22. Order it at Cold Colours’ Bandcamp page.