Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Cold Black River - Tales Of Death And The Devil

Cold Black River is a midwest stoner rock band building on a lot of the more traditional tropes of the genre. While I certainly appreciate some of their ideas I'm not too sure this is a record for me. At the end of the day the spaced out stoner rock thing seems a little spaced out. We are going to dig into this, but in my eyes, a seventeen minute long song has no place on a debut album. It just seems like its going to leave the listener drowning in too much material - no matter how strong the initial ideas or concepts behind the songs are.

This all being said, when the band is at their best, as they are on the secret track, Android's Embrace, then there is serious potential. Cold Black River have all that it takes to be a very solid rock band, they just need to trim down the songs. But if the anthemic chorus of 'These aren't the droids you're looking for' shows me, it's that Cold Black River know how to write a big hook. The overall delivery is very solid, and the bands guitar tone is to die for. This is a big frustration of the record for me - it so often comes so close, and yet lands so far away from what I'd hope to hear in a modern day stoner rock act.

Tales Of Death And the Devil is a record that offers a lot to sink your teeth into, sometimes though you have to ask why you'd bother sinking your teeth into it in the first place. In my eyes stoner rock is a genre that operates best when there is a sense of forward motion. Frequently with Tales Of Death And the Devil I don't get that. So yes there are some really cool musical elements scattered throughout and a potent overall concept, but its going to be when the band tightens down that their real potential will shine through.

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