KOLDBORN
"The Uncanny Valley"

(Listenable)

01. 28:06:42:12
02. Lords of Stupidity
03. The Uncanny Valley
04. A Destiny Predicted
05. Below a Crushing Earth
06. Hope Transformed Horizon
07. Disconnected
08. Last Message
09. Repression
10. Neural Bound
11. 2:18
12. Relativity

RATING: 7.5/10

Groovy grinding relentless death metal is the name of the game here, as this Danish band delivers a simple, primal and vicious second album. It's pretty much the only game, too, KOLDBORN being a fairly single-minded proposition. But if the band possesses only one trick, they're really goddamned good at it, and their inexorable assault makes "The Uncanny Valley" a satisfying album — one that wouldn't succeed any other way.

A good portion of "The Uncanny Valley" speeds by at a breakneck pace; blast beats and thrash tempos abound. When the band does drop into a lower gear, their midtempo moments are usually fueled by pummeling double-kick drums. The riffing never stops, or even lets up in intensity for very long, unleashing a non-stop barrage of insistent and maniacal speed picking. The vocals rise to the occasion, forceful and guttural, yet clear, providing an authoritative counterpart to the musical beatdown.

Of the twelve tracks here, only album closer "Relativity" veers from the KOLDBORN formula, with a far simpler riff structure and a thrashy punk-derived verse. Even this song, however, quickly crams in some blast beats and assumes the oppressive singular identity that "The Uncanny Valley" has been beating the listener over the head with for the previous eleven songs. That's not a criticism, really — though perhaps a little more of the punk feeling would have given the record a little more breathing space, and led to some more memorable moments.

But really, those are concerns for after the album ends. While "The Uncanny Valley" is playing, all thoughts will be banished — it's the kind of album that inspires raw, primal, slavering gut reactions, usually violent ones. It is what it is — not exactly a classic, and definitely not a record for all occasions, but in a rare elite of albums that have distilled pure violence into audio form. KOLDBORN will kick your ass!

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