CIB_digipak.inddThe Grymm Grab Bag© can be quite the two-sided beast of a backpack when utilized. For every moment when I pull out a gem by a promising band, I get two or three that end up closer to this. Forever undaunted (or just plain stupid), I once again reach into the bag of unknown-to-me goodies hoping to not get struck like that poor sap in Flash Gordon, and I am presented with The Comfort of Loss & Dust, the third album by London’s Cold in Berlin. Now, they’ve been covered in these hallowed pages before, but having no prior experience with their music, and seeing as how their new album was described as “stoner doom” on the promo, I dove right in head first and with swimfins removed, to experience this band for the first time.

And I would only call this “stoner doom” in the broadest of paint strokes. Hell, I would say that it’s not quite what you would even call “metal.” Now, there is definitely some major heft in a lot of Adam’s guitar riffs and Lawrence’s bass lines, but I would definitely lean this more in the direction of what Siouxsie and the Banshees would sound like while jamming out to some Cathedral. Opener “She Walks” lurches forward with an ominous bass line, before the drums and guitars thunder forth. But it’s when Maya appears with her haunting coos and periodic banshee yelps that you’re drawn in, like a fly caught in the most viscous of spider webs. Both captivating and ensnaring, her performance, as well as the heft-and-lurch provided by her bandmates, lure you into their grips and do their damnedest to keep you there.

They succeed for the most part. During album standout “The Bell,” the guitar simulates a church bell ringing, while Maya proclaims “One more bell…/One more bell and I’m yours/and from my belly/the beast crawls…” in the most alluring-yet-very-uncomfortable way, blending Siouxsie Sioux with Jarboe in what is easily a strong contender for my Song of the Year. Elsewhere, “Pray for Us” brings a seriously thick Type O Negative vibe with some ultra-low male vocals in the chorus. The one-two punch of the overly sexual “The Sinner” bleeding into the raucous “Fucking Loud” has to be heard to be believed, melding goth rock sensibilities with Kyuss-like groove to great effect.

Produced and mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Sunn O)))Electric Wizard) at Gun Factory Studios, the album sounds an awful lot like the old goth records of yesterday. Frank’s drums take a little bit of a hit (especially in the cymbals), but otherwise it’s a solid production, despite it’s low dynamic score. Sadly, sixth track “Mysterious Spells,” a piece that’s mostly spoken word, almost pulled me out of the album entirely. It takes something special to make spoken word work on a record, but this song pulls the record down so much that the subsequent four tracks suffer a bit, even though they’re good songs themselves.

Otherwise, what we have here is a cool amalgamation of doom, punk rock, and 80’s goth music, and it works quite well. Sure, it’s barely metal, but if you’re down for something different, you could do a whole lot worse than The Comfort of Loss & Dust. Color me pleasantly surprised!


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Candlelight Records
Websites: ColdInBerlinOfficial | Facebook.com/ColdInBerlin
Release Dates: EU: 2015.05.04 | NA: 05.12.2015

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  • I guess you’re either a fan of the yelping or not… doesn’t work for me at all.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Me neither. I used to like Siouxie and the Banshees, but that was back in the eighties when vocal inflections like this were considered cool and edgy. Nowadays, when I hear Siouxie, or Adam and the Ants’ Kings of the Wild Frontier, the vocal eccentricities just make me giggle.

      • I had the same problem as Steel Druhm, it just left me angry and not in that good metal kind of way.

        • sssgadget

          Sounds like she is drunk.

  • Roquentin

    Love this, really cool sound they’ve got. Nice review, thanks!

    • Grymm

      It’s different, but it hit me just right. Not for everyone, but this grew on me quite a bit.

  • I don’t like the chirping. It makes me angry.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I want you to take three calming breaths and stare at the site’s wallpaper for a full minute. You should feel peace descending.

      • I think it needs to be more black to be calming… maybe focus on some razor blades. This is just very, very pink lol.

    • Hulksteraus

      But this is “Angry Metal Guy”, not Happy, it is how it should make you feel!!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Awesome review, Grymm! Although the music isn’t my cup of tea, the review prepped me for what was to come well enough that it wasn’t overly surprising. And I may as well cause frustration as this is one of many reviews I have seen on this sight tagged as ‘not metal’. If so many albums under the apparent, AM-sub-G-enre have been reviewed here, can ‘not metal’ be it’s own genre? I have an idea for a definition:

    An album that for some reason finds the majority of it’s critical and/or commercial success from the metal scene, but shows near-to-zero characteristics of a ‘metal’ album.

    Yay or nay? Hey, at least it’s not DJENT, amirite? No? Oh. Well okay

  • De2013

    “Sure, it’s barely metal”

    In other words spotting a new trend here on AMG: sounds like a great candidate for ROTM.

    Seriously, thanks for the great review. The Misfits were more punk than metal and Typo is awesome so I will check this out.

    • Grymm

      Nah, there are better things in the pipeline for May, I assure you. I just dug this record quite a bit.

      Different strokes and all that!

  • Wilhelm

    …and yet another female fronted occult rock band on the very fringes of metal. This is cool though, I’m not sure if I’m 100% down with listening to a whole album, but I bet they’re a great live band.

  • I think it would be more bearable if the voice wasn’t so high on the mix. As it stands, I think it’s not gonna get a spot on my playlist

  • Ugh. This is fucking horrible.

  • Excentric_1307

    There’s something about those vocals that makes me worried for the windows in my house… but not in a good way…

  • Martin Knap

    Somebody should shoot a video at this location: Kostnice v Kutné Hoře Sedlci. Just google it and you’ll se why.

  • Feytalist

    This sounds a LOT like a couple of 80s/early 90s goth rock/deathrock bands. I’m just not exactly sure which ones. Shadow Project, maybe? Hexedene?

    Anyway, me likey. I grew up with this kind of vocal stylings, and it hits me right where I like it.

    I’m always up for discovering interesting and unusual stuff like this, rather than the Nth iteration of rethrash or melodeath or whatever genre du jour. Thanks, AMG dudes :D