Rainbows in the Dark: Cold Cave — “Fate in Seven Lessons”

Welcome back folks!  Not only have we returned with more #content over here, but we are also back to something of the regularly scheduled Rainbows programming.  After a brief but thought provoking sojourn into the world of harsh noise, we return with something that is decidedly much less harsh and noisy, but no less evocative and artistic, in every sense of the word.  Synthpop/post-punk darlings Cold Cave seem poised to be the epitome of the modern-day resurgence of old-school cool, and on Fate in Seven Lessons, they show off a little bit of everything they bring to the table.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Lung Knots — “Golden Dirges, Molten Larynges”

I can’t say that I really saw it coming, but I guess I’m on something of a harsh noise kick lately.  Not that things have been going particularly poorly or my mental state is deteriorating (well, any more that it usually does), but I guess I’ve just been in the mood to expand my horizons.  I’m starting to get a feel for nuances of the genre, how it carries emotion and tension that is much more complicated than just “loud.”  But then, there’s Lung Knots, and their newest release Golden Dirges, Molten Larynges, that just want to annihilate your eardrums sonically.  That works too, I guess.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Gridfailure ft. Mac Gollehon — “Dismemberment Cabaret”

We’ve encountered a lot of the…unusual here on Rainbows in the Dark, but I think this one might be the most unusual of them all.  Not that unusual means bad.  It doesn’t inherently imply quality, and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t apply here, but Dismemberment Cabaret, the newest collaboration between harsh noise outfit Gridfailure and uber-prolific trumpet player Mac Gollehon might be the toughest release I’ve ever had to get my mind around in these parts.  To sum it up succinctly would be almost impossible.  The title of the album kind of tells you exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Great Dismal Swamp — “Virginia”

I can’t say I’m overly familiar with harsh noise, especially considering the harshness of said noise is not something that I’m always in the mood for.  It’s different than listening to extreme metal, despite what some might say.  You have to be willing to put yourself into something that throws out any sense of musicality in favor of pure atmosphere.  However, picking up this column last year did me well in terms of broadening my horizons, and Great Dismal Swamp have the kind of name that immediately draws me in, so I took a chance on Virginia.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Mortifero — “The Death Ballads”

Mortifero - The Death Ballads

Fresh blood on the scene is always a good thing.  It keeps the older bands on their toes and it brings in new and exciting perspectives, especially if those perspectives come from people who don’t often have their voices heard in the metal and metal-adjacent communities.  However, 2020 was not a year that I thought many new projects would be popping up, but then again, the world is full of pleasant surprises, especially when it comes to Dutch singer/songwriter/bandleader Mortifero.  Her brand-new debut EP The Death Ballads blends a lot of creative influences that definitely keep things fresh.

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