REVIEW - ColdHarbour - 'State Of Mind' (Album)
Norwich band ColdHarbour's six track 'Subject & Symmetry' EP released in 2019 was a perfect introduction to the band's complex yet accessible mix of tough metallic riffery, deep-worn grooves and proggy changes in tempo and temperature along with the odd, catchy chorus thrown in. It's a formula that's been refined to excellent effect on their debut full-length release 'State Of Mind' released four years on (having to take in the pandemic and some 'turbulence' during its creation) and their take on modern metal and alt-rock has produced a dynamic sounding and forceful album. It's an album that brings the band's individual strengths to the fore - Tom Brown's torrent of masterful, cascading riffs and fearsome guitar sounds, Alex Coe's expert, steadfast bass work underpinning the band's stop-start tuneage and ever-charging rhythms, and Ian Arnold's fluid, powerful drumming pushing the strong songs into uncharted and unexpected directions - coalescing in ten absorbing songs of skill and fire.
The band's technical abilities are shown in the numerous changes in time and feel of a number of songs starting with opener 'Blackpill' that finds time for gentler, janglier passages in between its heavy verses and soaring chorus, 'Subterfuge' that has an almost 'dancey' riff and beats in its choppy verses and 'Last Stand' with its buzzing riff intro breaking down into bass and drum led verses and building to anthemic choruses. 'Sonorous' too, in its six minute 17 seconds duration, finds time to wind and twist its way through a number of differing passages following an atmospheric bass led intro, while 'Roots' has a slow, heavy middle eight to counteract its faster beginning and ending (with a false ending to boot!). They can also play straightforward go-ahead rock as well, such as on the fast 'n' furious 'Riptide' and the standout single 'Silence Is Deafening' whose maelstrom of slashing chords and crashing cymbals never overshadow the hooky choruses, and the quieter stuff such as the verses in 'Burning Bridges' and the all acoustic 'Break The Cycle' which closes the album. Which just leaves the monumental title track 'State Of Mind' with its cascading riffs, stop-start verses and great melodic choruses - a tremendous title track for a fine album.
'State Of Mind' builds on 'Subject And Symmetry' and shows ColdHarbour coming on in leaps and bounds with their powerful, well-crafted songs finding room for experimentation alongside tuneful 'stick-in-your-head' choruses. Having seen them live three or four times now it's great to finally be able to hear recorded versions of songs that are impressive in a live setting, and whether on stage or on record, this is excellent modern metal and alt-rock well worth the time to immerse yourself in. ColdHarbour are ready to move up to the next level and 'State Of Mind' goes a long way to helping them to do this. An impressive and exciting record!
'State Of Mind' is released this Saturday - 11th November 2023 - and will be available on all the major digital and streaming sites.