Rock n' Roll High Society

Written by: AP on 18/12/2008 17:54:43

Onsetcold's debut album belongs in the category of music that rarely finds itself in my drive. In fact, it's like a best of collection of the genres that I'm least likely to ever open up to: death, black and doom metal of the darkest kind. Its title, "Rock n' Roll High Society", suggests that not only do most of us peons think of them that way, but that the true fans and practitioners of extreme metal actually see themselves as the metal elite.

Given the amount of so-called extreme metal bands surfacing now, Onsetcold as newcomers themselves seem to have taken care not to become associated by default with the deathcore pool by emphasizing in the album's title that this most certainly is pure extreme metal and with the muddy production that they most certainly didn't even try to make it sound good. It's a forced imago but surprisingly it works. It works in the same way that staring at the pale grey sky and leafless trees outside works as inspiration for an artist or writer with a particularly cynical disposition. You see, even though it's difficult to derive emotion from the dark topics of Onsetcold's songs, it's impossible not to be entranced by their atmosphere, thanks to a minimal, but effective ambiance as delivered by the band's keyboardist and centerpiece, Farley.

In these days we expect no less than to be blown away by a band's musicianship, especially when the band dares use the label technical death metal to describe some parts of their music, and as such, Onsetcold does not fall short. On the other hand, notwithstanding some interesting rhythms here and there, none of this sounds particularly prodigious either. One might even go so far as to say that for the most part, Onsetcold's songs are soulless, but then again, considering the kind of music they strive to make, soulless would probably be welcomed as a compliment. Indeed, if doom and gloom are what the album was supposed to be about, then the band has succeeded. If not, well, there's few achievements left to talk about.

Nonetheless, for a debut album "Rock n' Roll High Society" is acceptable. It sounds like it could have been recorded in the early nineties, which is to say that not only does it barely sound like a debut, it also sounds sufficiently subterranean to be permitted that underground stamp. In those circles the band will still be considered a minion, but given the technical know-how at this band's disposal, I see no reason for it to remain that way forever.


Download: Pale Horse, Masterdom, Psychopath

For the fans of: Abigail Williams, Carpathian Forest, Darkthrone

Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.03.2008


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