Album review by Allyson Kingsley music journalist with Metal Coffee/Metal Moose
"How terrible this darkness was, how bewildering, and yet mysteriously beautiful!"
The above quote comes to mind whenever I am asked why I enjoy and indeed immerse myself in the black metal genre. What you see on the outside is only a tiny inkling of what exactly lies underneath. If you search the realms of the darkness of black metal long enough, you begin to see the light and become aware. To add to my forever growing collection is the Norwegian band Livløst and their album Cold Skin. What does cold skin bring to mind? Death, of course but it is not necessarily the bleak blackness everyone envisions. Some bands can actually capture the release it brings. Light embedded within the dark.
"I" sets the tone with a fuzzed out bass that feels like you are slipping through the veil between the worlds. With unbelievably amazing tastes of doom, "Cold Skin" envelopes you in death's embrace. "Sounds of Woods" builds off a template of ominous, dissonant plucking that grimly cuts through the gloom of warped tar-thick riffs and demented shrieks and roars galore. The songs are dynamic and the album never loses its way, even for a moment, ending with the fantastic duo of “Priest" and “From the Fallen One". This is the music of confident musicians, and the different styles mean that the runtime absolutely flies by.
Livløst feels frosty and cavernous and frightening. In a country with such a small population, it’s extraordinary how many amazing bands they have that just consistently knock it out of the park.