Home recording and the rise of platforms like Youtube, Bandcamp and Spotify have made it a relatively-straightforward process for anyone to release music. Removing many of the former barriers to entry—labels, studio costs, physical pressings—has particularly allowed one-person projects, like Violet Cold, to thrive.
The work of Emin Guliyev, Violet Cold is a primarily black metal-based project that draws heavily, and sometimes delves fully into, other styles. Violet Cold’s 2017 exceptional and essential full-length Anomie fits into the blackgaze subgenre alongside acts like Deafheaven and Alcest while incorporating synthesizers and traditional Middle Eastern music. Prior to that came the melancholic Desperate Dreams in 2015 and an instrumental LP in 2016, Magic Night.
Guliyev followed Anomie with a trio of post-rock albums—reminiscent of the project’s early days as an ambient project—in the Sommermorgen series, subtitling them Innocence, Joy and Nostalgia. The least heavy of Violet Cold’s full-length albums, the Sommermorgen share a number of similarities with Violet Cold’s heavier material.
Violet Cold returned to black metal in 2019 with kOsmik but Guliyev didn’t stop there, welcoming post-metal and funeral doom into the fold on songs like “Space Funeral.”
To date, Violet Cold’s latest work is 2020’s Noir Kid, which is technically a blackgaze album but borrows generously from other genres in the form of synthesizers, beats, heavily-affected vocals and a number of pop sensibilities. It is a unique and recognizable sound—Guliyev has turned Violet Cold into an instantly-recognizable project that fans of non-traditional black metal should hear at least once.
Listen to Anomie and Noir Kid below; Violet Cold’s other full-lengths and huge collection of EPs are available via Bandcamp.