Having a new Coldworld full-album experience is a special one. Though multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Georg Börner has blessed the world with various EPs and singles throughout the past six years, using them as opportunities to experiment outside his normal morose sound purview, the void left after 2016's Autumn, and, more importantly, 2008's Melancholie² has been palpable and felt by the black metal scene the world over.

Isolation, Coldworld's first album in six years, is defined by two elements: context and quality. To put things into said context for those who might be a little more familiar with Coldworld's output: Isolation sounds closer to Melancholie² and the preceding TheStarsAreDeadNow EP from 2005, but more mature and with a clearer, more confident sound. Living up to its name, Isolation is dark, sad, and lonely atmospheric black metal, but there are elements from Autumn which sneak their way into the fold.

Though Coldworld's then-long-awaited second album Autumn was a clear departure from its predecessor, it is important to take this album into account when hearing Isolation. For starters, Börner's signature "cold and dark" sound carries a distinct (albeit distant) warmth, one which defined Autumn's stark sound contrast. There is also a stronger violin presence, something carried over from his time in Galician neofolk troupe Sangre de Muerdago, though this was also a defining quality on other Coldworld releases.

Isolation is a real stunner, and a true return to form for an interesting project whose wintry might had otherwise waned over the course of nearly 15 years (this is to say, Autumn obviously and conceptually didn't carry the same type of coldness as Coldworld's preceding discography). A return to something colder and more miserable, Isolation's take on black metal is overwhelming and massive, but also easy to digest. Börner's melodic grasp, especially with his striking violin leads, above what is essentially a miasma of sound, truly gives this otherwise difficult music a distinct momentum and memorability.

Listen to Isolation in full ahead of its Friday release below. This is truly one of the better black metal releases of the year and should not go unnoticed.



Isolation releases September 30th via Eisenwald.

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