Label: Argento Records
I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel like Irwell, the debut album from UK black metal band Cold Fell, was rather over-looked last year. Perhaps its take on black metal simply wasn’t fashionable enough – its gritty, urban feel is certainly different from most other bands currently kicking about the UK underground, and the way it shifts between punked-up aggression and cathartic, emotional climaxes means it doesn’t sit comfortably within any single sub-genre. Yet those aspects are what makes Irwell so notable, and so worthy of your time.
As this might imply, Irwell is a varied listen – even if it does specialise in different shades of black and grey. There’s no remorse in its onslaught, with its shifts in tempo and style serving to underline just how aggressive an album Irwell is. Violent and forward-thinking in equal measure, yet as bleak as the North of England from where the band hails, Irwell should have been much bigger than it was. Here’s hoping we hear more from the band soon – whether in terms of recordings or live shows – as there’s so much potential present on Irwell that it would be a genuine tragedy were this to be Cold Fell’s epitaph. A fine one it would be, though.