‘Death Of Birth’ gets Coldwar’s third full length album ‘Bloodfire Sunset’ off to a promising, stomping start. Of the band’s hardcore punk origins there’s no longer the slightest trace. Instead, the eleven tracks and forty odd minutes are straight up old school Death Metal, largely in the Bolt Thrower vein, with an almost ever present mid-tempo groove, and occasional nods to early nineties Florida.
Unfortunately, the solid opener flatters to deceive a little, as the subsequent five songs – up to the very unspectacular ‘Zero’ – rather than build upon the good start, quickly give way to routine, with only ‘Spike My Eyes’ breaking the mould to any degree. Never bad per se, it’s just that by the time ‘Vatican’ starts, the general impression is that you’ve already heard all Coldwar has to offer.
It comes as a pleasant surprise so that with track seven, ‘Democracy The Undertaker’ – featured on the ‘Intoxicated Volume 4’ compilation – the listener’s perseverance is rewarded by a very definite upturn in the standard. With the exception of the opener, for some reason the Dubliners have decided to pack all of the highlights onto ‘side two’ of ‘Bloodfire Sunset’. Along with ‘The Culling’, ‘Enter Darkness’ and ‘Preaching To The Perverted’, the aforementioned ‘Democracy…’ showcases the five piece’s true potential. Here the spice that was missing from much of the first half of the album is present in spades. If only they’d mixed things up sooner.
One of a kind on their home turf, at their best Coldwar can more than hold their own with much of the international competition. As yet, the necessary consistency is still missing though, as is a slightly more critical approach to the selection of the material good enough to make the final cut. And although overall the production on ‘Bloodfire Sunset’ is pretty good – particularly the nice, chunky guitar sound – a more professional job should also be on the agenda for the next album.
3.1 / 5 – DBM ::: 18/07/07