|Label:||Final Sacrifice Records|
As you probably already know, «grim and frostbitten» black metal is always welcome here on Aristocrazia: this time we're talking about Coldborn, the solo project of Belgian multi-instrumentalist Norgaath, who recently became also the bass player of the better-known Nightbringer. Norgaath himself banishes all our doubts regarding the genre (in case we had any), describing the music of "Lingering Voidwards" as «Atmospheric Black Metal» and putting particular emphasis on the first word. We don't find ourselves, though, in front of one of the tens of atmospheric and Folk-ish albums which invaded the music business during the last fifteen years, as it's more of an album characterized by pompous and almost gothic atmospheres. Keyboards are, in fact, present in various forms, from mere accompaniment to pillars of the entire musical structure, as well as piano intermissions which offer, from time to time, a warm refuge from the freezing guitar whippings.
The five compositions examined here can be appreciated for their variety, something that's not so predictable in a genre like this: they move easily from really tight songs, where drummer Menthor (of Lvcifyre among others) pushes on the gas (as in "In The Absence Of Light, Death Gazes" and the closer "Withered"), to definitely slower and contemplative ones, like the title track, supported by ethereal arpeggios in its most atmospheric sections.
The themes are perfectly aligned with the album's title, a persistent attraction towards the void of existence, which translates to lyrics adorned in death and desperation. The production is also good, every instrument finds its own place and has the correct weight in the mix; also this is an aspect where it's easy to make mistakes when symphonic elements are present (another example are the timpani which peep out every now and then, that reminds the listener of the legendary "To Mega Therion" by Celtic Frost).
"Lingering Voidwards" is a positive debut for the Belgian artist, who succeeded at combining various stylistic aspects in an interesting way, all in a bit more than forty-five minutes. We look forward to the second chapter of this project that started off on the right foot.