Review: COLDWAR – ‘Pantheist’ Posted: 25/04/2014 by John O'Brien

Coldwar have always balanced themselves between Hardcore and Death Metal but on ‘Pantheist’ they have merged the two perfectly to create their own little bastard mix of the two. Add to that a willingness to experiment with their sound and playing style and you have a truly individual beast. And what a beast this album is!!!

Coldwar may be miles away from their initial more straight forward Hardcore beginnings but one thing is for certain. They have always been solid outfit, even through their various line-ups. Each release has been better than the previous and ‘Pantheist’ is no exception. Previous album ‘Christus Deathshead’ was another seriously heavy affair but did come across as a little disjointed. Individually it’s hard to fault the track but as an album it didn’t quite flow right. ‘Pantheist’ by comparison is more accomplished, refined and completely unrelenting from start to finish.

The album kicks off with ‘Heart Of Darkness’ and a clever intro build-up that quickly bursts open with thick guitars and Trevor McLave literally spewing up a lung. It’s a pummeling track that serves as a perfect introduction to the album. A statement of intent from the band and sure to be a live staple. ‘Ether Child’ (link), ‘Mazu Awakens’  and ’13th Moon’ all follow in similar unrelenting fashion. It’s not until the subtle intro to ‘The Falcon Cannot Hear The Falconer’ that you’re allowed to take stock of the initial assault. But don’t get too comfortable… as it’s a short reprieve before the band hurl you violently back into the fray. A fantastic track which ducks and weaves between subtle, experimental and crushing guitar sections. All while McLave does his damnedest to finish of what’s left of his lungs.

The latter half of the album from ‘The Falcon…’ onward is definitely a little more varied. ‘Consciousness Paralysis’ is a truly blistering track and a personal favorite. Every aspect of this track is just on the money. That main opening riff is sweet as nut! The bass flows thick and heavy, the drums don’t let up for a second for it’s eight minute duration, the vocals are seething and utterly spiteful and the two guitarists bounce off each other brilliantly. Superb stuff! They could have easily kept this track till the end to play the album out but they have one more ace up their sleeve for that.

‘Last Days Of The 4th Sun’ first surfaced back in late 2012 in demo form, although calling it a demo is an injustice, and has been a regular favorite of mine since. The band even gave their blessing and allowed me to feature it on this sites online compilation ‘The First Wave…’ back in early 2013 (thanks again!). Another long track that sees the band spreading their wings like never before. Heavy riffs bludgeon you for the opening section while odd style and tempo changes throughout show off their more experimental side perfectly. All building to a climactic finish of feedback and guitar distortion.

Coldwar have put in huge effort and excelled themselves by crafting an excellent album in ‘Pantheist’ and deserve all the praise the get for it.

Now don’t be stupid… Go and get it!!!