Rituals of Surrender

Cold in Berlin

COLD IN BERLIN is an enigmatic four-some out of London, England. They debuted their first […]
September 30, 2019
Cold in Berlin - Rituals of Surrender album cover

COLD IN BERLIN is an enigmatic four-some out of London, England. They debuted their first album in 2010 and on October 11, 2019 they will release their fourth album, "Rituals of Surrender." I am hesitant to categorize them into a particular genre, though if I had to assign them to a metal subgenre, I would go with a fusion of Goth and Doom Metal. While their sound isn't necessarily metal, their essence is. I first encountered COLD IN BERLIN in 2012 when I reviewed their second LP, "And Yet," for the now defunct Cack Blabbath. They utterly blew me away seven years ago, and every time I listen to any of their albums I am returned to that space of dark, visceral awe. I am happy to report "Rituals of Surrender" is no exception.

The sonic evolution of the band is obvious throughout the entire album. Adam (guitar) and Lawrence (bass) have adopted a much heavier approach rendering "Rituals of Surrender" their heaviest album to date. Alex (drums) has proportionally upped his prowess, somehow utilizing a minimal kit to capture maximum percussive impact. And, of course, Maya's voice has stayed incredibly clean, even in her gasping wails and her frenetic repetitions which are the vocal equivalent of a mentholated Stoner Metal riff.

COLD IN BERLIN wastes no time in initiating their listeners to their dark upheaval. "The Power" is a Doom-laden opener, evoking the legend of Lilith but also suggesting that such as story is perhaps the gritty reality of every woman in the modern world. This songs tells the listener that something wicked indeed this way comes. Second up is "Dark Days," a portrait of desperate despair that balances a story of a broken psyche with a triumphant melodic build that suggests there is strength in embracing one's own darkness. This song indicates the darkly poetic powers of the band not only remain but have increased over time. The track also showcases Maya's impressive abilities as a lyricist:

"One more candle, one more flame,
one more loss on which to blame
these dark, dark days.
These days that rage inside me,
these days that twist and bind me,
these days like thunder through my veins,
dark, dark days."

Several tracks will especially appeal to Doom Metal lovers such as "Avalanche," a colossal rush of heaviness that perfectly embodies its theme. There is also "Monsters," a slow burn lament to the pains of love, or to figurative and literal monsters, or to god knows what - I mean at some point you just give into the crushing riffs. "Shadowman" and "Temples" are also great examples of the band expanding deeper into Doom territory, while "Frantic" ranks high as straightforward, hard driving tune.

Overall, "Rituals of Surrender," is another mind-bending album by band that defies categorization. As a thoughtful study of the dispossessed and disaffected, as a visceral rejection of the status quo, as an exploration of the space between Doom and Gothic metal, the album succeeds on multiple levels.

10 / 10









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"Rituals of Surrender" Track-listing:

1. The Power
2. Dark Days
3. Avalanche
4. Monsters
5. Frantic
6. Temples
7. Your Body, My Church
8. Shadowman
9. Sacred Ground

Cold in Berlin Lineup:

Maya - Vocals
Adam - Guitar
Lawrence - Bass
Alex - Drums

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