Anomie by Violet Cold

Release date: July 21, 2017
Label: Tridroid Records / Folkvangr

When preparing for this review I decided to drop Violet Cold mainman Emin Guliyev an email to ask him what genre he prefers to be labelled under, being an artist of many inspirations. He quickly replied with an answer perfectly tuned to his thinking and one that I half expected him to say. He simply said, “feel free to express it how you see it”, and that wonderfully sums up Violet Cold’s truest meaning. Freedom.

Hailing from Azerbaijan and with apparently no formal musical training, though clearly blessed with immeasurable talent, a prolific Bandcamper Guliyev performs and releases his music himself to wide praise. This is just about as DIY as you can get, with end results even some full bands fail to pull off so sublimely.

Violet Cold are neither solely black metal nor are they this or that, but more so an escape into one’s dreams and fantasies, amalgamating genres, emotions and stylings that cover a wide and varied spectrum. Choose one of his recordings and let it take you where it chooses to take you. Into beauty, from depression or something more reaching of the abysmal depths of the soul. It is music that perfectly contrasts emotions through several mediums, using the example of love and that it isn’t just birds singing but can also be a harsh and passionate fire of longing, lust and loss, fit for the traits of blackened music. The underlying theme burning throughout Anomie seems to be this, with flickers of its various tortured or pleasant colours appearing in each song, and this is what Guliyev captures so gracefully.

If you look back on Violet Cold’s 4 EPs, 4 albums and 20+ singles of the past four years you will find a man influenced by many shades of music, such as experimental, house, electro pop, synths, post-metal and even harsh walls of inaudible noise that all play part in Violet Cold’s colourful history. But Guliyev’s real genius shines when he is blackgazing at the stars, with brilliance and beauty flowing against the backdrop of the freedom of black metal, and this is most certainly where his full length albums are rooted in.

New 6 track album Anomie continues in the same vein as previous release, the purely instrumental Magic Night, though Guliyev’s harsh blackened vocals make a welcome return and play in beautiful contrast with the dream-like soundscapes this album captures. The eponymous title track introduces a whirlwind journey of cold blastbeats and grim vocals leading to a quite breathtaking Middle Eastern inspired interlude and finally ending with one of the most beautiful outros to a song in years. Turns out woodwind instruments and blastbeats go hand in hand. ‘She Spoke of Her Devastation’ begins with gentle grace and a sweetly sorrowful intro. The song builds on majestic atmospheres and harsher metal, whisking you off into its story, with more ambient parts Summoning-esque. It’s a song that somewhat haunts you and certainly spirits you away.

‘Lovegaze’ lifts you up into the stars as soon as the first note plays and this reviewer found himself at one with the world throughout its 8 minute length. With no vocals except a female voice somewhat desperately repeating the words “I love you” in Turkish it’s down to the music to carry you through. From start to finish this track tugs at the heart strings with its serenity of textures and nuances, from sweeping you into tranquility to knocking you senseless with a chorus of blasting drums. This song is pure testament to the fact that the shock then glorious awe of extreme music, whichever colours it may be painted in, can truly melt your heart.

‘My Journey To Your Space’ and ‘Violet Girl’ both build on similar themes as previous songs, shifting from serene to a more blackened palette, with the latter moving into tragedy towards its conclusion. As ‘Violet Girl’ closes you are awash with a sense of deep loss, and are left stunned by its simplicity in storytelling beauty. Album finisher ‘No Escape From Dreamland’ signs off on a more savage note ramping up the blastbeats to blistering drum machine pace whilst contrasting perfectly with the gorgeous soundscapes preceding.

This is an album built on depth and passion. Its creative complexity flows unrestrained and free-spirited without spilling any of the profound intricacies of thought and emotion this release possesses. It’s an intimate album and not just for its maker, the beauty of Anomie and the essence of Violet Cold is that the album becomes intimate to you and I for whatever connective reasons may arise or just for the simple fact that it takes you off into a dream-like state. Whilst all of Violet Cold’s music may not be to your taste the simply wonderful thing about this project is that you can pick one that is.

This is music that sweeps you away into another world and is the perfect balance of cruel devastation and utter, utter beauty. My mind has been blown.

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