(Andy Synn reviews the wonderful new album by Violet Cold.)
The phenomenon of the “one-man Black Metal band” is certainly an interesting one.
On the one hand it really does mean that the band’s music will always be the product of a singular creative voice, and often results in said band maintaining a highly prolific writing/recording schedule, as there’s no need to arrange multiple schedules or to balance the writing process among a number of competing ideas.
But just because you CAN string together some hissy riffs, programmed blastbeats, and low-fi vocals about hating the world into a semblance of a song, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD, and just because you *love* Black Metal it doesn’t mean that you have anything original or interesting to offer the genre.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some truly phenomenal examples out there of solitary artists who possess the necessary vision and distinctive voice to stand out from the pack – such as Leviathan, Infestus, and The Clearing Path, to name but a few – but, by and large, the relative ease with which anyone can put together their own “one-man Black Metal band” has led to a glut of mediocre albums and EPs which do little more than recycle the same old sounds and the same old stories.
And then… there’s Violet Cold.