COLDWORKER
"The Contaminated Void"

(Relapse)

01. The Interloper
02. D.E.A.D.
03. An Unforgiving Season
04. The Contaminated Void
05. Death Smiles At Me
06. A Custom-Made Hell
07. Return To Ashes
08. Strain At the Leash
09. Flammable
10. Antidote
11. They Crawl Inside Me Uninvited
12. Waiting For Buildings to Collapse
13. Heart Shaped Violence
14. Generations Decay

RATING: 8.5/10

Is it death? Is it grind? In this hyperintense Babel of a metal scene, such labels are becoming as obsolete as a cassette deck head cleaner. COLDWORKER attain all the obvious qualifications for death metal, while dishing out frequent grinding blast beats that spit sparks and debris like shrapnel. The songs are short, sharp bursts of intense riffing, but they maintain melodic solos and more traditional death metal parts, along with occasional speed-picking thrash riffs and uniformly bloodsoaked and gory enunciated death vocals.

The resulting sound could be compared to a more filth-caked VADER, a (very slightly) more tradition-minded NASUM, or even a phlegmier NAPALM DEATH at times. The thing is, once you hit play, it all becomes academic — COLDWORKER just violently kick ass, more than anything else, and it would take a pretty fucking pig-headed purist on either side of the fence to deny how much they rule due to simple obsolete dogma.

Founded by former NASUM drummer Anders Jakobson and assembled from his hand-picked colleagues, COLDWORKER is a band comprised of individuals who've already done most of the sorting out that needed done. Thus, it makes sense that the band hits the ground running with "The Contaminated Void" — there's not an ounce of fat on these 1-3 minute songs, not one part that doesn't instinctively satisfy and ratchet up the overall level of intensity. The guitar has a very overdriven, dirty sound to it, and the vocals are practically wet in your ears, while the bass throbs in some sick bowel-twisting frequencies (especially effective on the slow, seething "Return To Ashes", an epic by COLDWORKER standards at an uncomfortable four minutes and change).

There's enough paint-peeling, bone-snapping grindcore ("Strain At the Leash", "Antidote") and enough brutal, relentless death metal ("D.E.A.D"., go figure) on "The Contaminated Void" to satisfy just about anyone into the extreme end of the scale. In a scene glutted by well-intentioned imitators and arguably at its creative and technological limits, COLDWORKER manage, through sheer piss and vinegar combined with savvy experience, to push the envelope that one iota further. 2007's first essential slab of extreme metal.

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