Alienation Cold    

Nothing, Nobody, Never

S. N. D. Productions 2012

A cold chill settles across the synth infused black metal of Russia's Alienation Cold on the 3-song album's opener, Grass In The Water.  A wind of melancholy blows through the keyboard passages while fuzzy guitars and scraping vocals cut through and uphold the sorrowful mood.  The song has a mid-tempo pacing and the synth is near constant, yet not overly symphonic.  It has a similar effect as synth on Depeche Mode where it remains a natural instrument for both bands' compositions.  The track then flattens out, dropping down to strictly electronic music.  A black metal version of Norway's V:28 comes to mind at this point.  A solitary piano delivers a thoughtful introduction to the slowly plodding initial section of the title-track.  The drama slowly builds as the guitars become crunchier and the vocals more insistent.  The song slowly becomes more amorphous as the form breaks down somewhat and the guitars drift in a synth-heavy abyss.  More astral synth and forlorn guitar movements unite and die together on the album's funal composition, Autumn Dream.  However there is a new angle explored on this track, the hyper-intense blasting passage that explodes like meteor streaking across a winter sky.  The guitars and drums fly in a frenzy together but then drop into a somewhat bouncy, goth-ish passage.  The speed rises once again and flows towards a dramatic death of life near the track's end.  All the while the synth never lets an ounce of warmth intrude upon the icy notes of the song.  The dramatic, singular electronic notes and emotional surges that close out the track are simplistic beauty.  The one drawback to this album is that occasionally it is very evident they are using a drum machine.  The music created by Alienation Cold is truly bleak and fills me with a sense of isolation.  Every centimeter of their sophomore album is painted in pale blue light of distant, dying stars.