Discovering and spreading music from all over the world is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a music writer, and with social media and digital platforms like Bandcamp I’m always finding new material from unexpected places. One man band Violet Cold is a perfect example, as creator Emin Guliyev lives in Baku, Azerbaijan. He started writing material for this group in early 2013 and has released a constant stream of material ever since, including the ‘Magic Night’ full length that came out digitally back in January. Mixing atmospheric black metal together with shoegaze, electronics, and other experimental elements, Guliyev handles every element of the music from recording to the artwork himself. ‘Magic Night’ caught the attention of Tridroid Records, who will be giving it a cassette release on December 2nd. Today we’re bringing you a stream of the title track so you can hear for yourself how powerfully entrancing this material really is.
The title track is the longest piece on the album, coming in at nearly eleven minutes in length. Guliyev makes the most of this longer span of time though, hitting listeners with sprawling instrumentation that expands naturally without succumbing to repetition. Early on you’re likely to be reminded quite heavily of Alcest, as Violet Cold pulls from similar framework of placing soaring atmospheric melodies that have a dreamlike feel over top of a rawer black metal base. But that’s not to say that this is mere imitation, and I think that as you spend more time with the title track and album as a whole you’ll get a feel for the other influences that are being pulled in. ‘Magic Night’ isn’t quite as harsh and in your face as some of the others out there, as Guliyev has opted to let the rawer base remain a nuance of the recording rather than its focus. What this does is it allows the melodies to reach even greater heights, and the guitars and electronic elements work in tandem to create dreamlike backdrops that make you feel like you’re soaring through space and time. Though the blasting drums and lead riffs sound quite similar for the entirety of the song, there are breaks several times that let soft, somber melodies take over for a brief period of time. This gives a narrative feel to the piece, and I have the feeling that listeners will conjure up all types of imagery as they listen. Some of Violet Cold’s previous efforts had vocals on them but this time around the focus is on the instrumentals, and it gives the songs a much calmer, enticing atmosphere than before.
Each of Violet Cold’s numerous releases has offered something slightly different, and ‘Magic Night’ strips the vocals away in favor of sweeping atmospherics and a warm dreamlike feeling with just a hint of raw black metal. Fans of atmospheric black metal and what’s come to be known as blackgaze should feel right at home listening to this album, and it has the songwriting chops to be up there with some of the better efforts in the genre. Grab the cassette from Tridroid Records on December 2nd, with digital downloads available on Bandcamp now for those who want to experience the full album right now.