Coldworker - The Promise of Decay
By: David E. Gehlke
Formed by ex-Nasum drummer Anders Jacobson in 2006, Sweden's Coldworker have become in the span of three albums, one of the more unheralded, yet dependable deathgrind bands on the market. Their 2007 The Contamination Void throttled with a Scandinavian Napalm Death-like intensity, and so did 2008's Rotting Paradise, an album that saw the Swedes take things a few steps further thanks to the leveling intensity of tracks such as "The Black Dog Syndrome," "The Last Bitter Twist," and "I Am the Doorway." After splitting with Relapse (who released the band's first two albums), Coldworker signed up with France's Listenable Records for the release of this year's excellent The Doomsayer's Call. With a greater emphasis on the band's searing death metal base, The Doomsayer's Call is perhaps the Coldworker's finest hour, a thought that was top-of-mind when chatting with guitarist Anders Bertilsson. Read on...
Blistering.com: When stacked up next to Rotting Paradise, it feels like The Doomsayer's Call is the next step up for you guys. Is that how you feel?
Anders Bertilsson: Absolutely. That's exactly how I feel, and that makes me glad, since I guess that most bands (if they haven't lost all motivation) strive to take their music to the next level with every new release. I think we all did our best with our individual contributions to make the most complete and diverse record we could at the time.
Blistering.com: Recently, there's been quite the deluge of death metal bands playing the classic Stockholm style. From your perspective, is this a good or bad thing?
Bertilsson: To be honest, I haven't really thought about it. I think this is the kind of stuff that can lead to never-ending discussions. And sure, there are a lot of bands out there, not only ones that play the Stockholm style, but pretty much any style of death metal. While it may lead to the market being slightly (massively?) flooded, all good bands are more than welcome to release a million albums each if they feel like it, if you ask me (and you did, hehe). One problem is that the quality control may not be as high as it ought to be, but in the end, that's all related to people's opinions. What I consider to be a great band, others may consider to be shit. This goes for our band as well of course. Some may love us, some may hate us.
Blistering.com: Did your move over to Listenable Records have any effect on the writing process for the new album? What led you to sign with them?
Bertilsson: Relapse Records released our two previous albums The Contaminated Void and Rotting Paradise. They had an option to release The Doomsayer's Call, but chose not to use that option. This left us without a label, but with a completed record waiting to be released. We contacted Listenable Records, who were interested right away. So the album was already recorded when we signed with Listenable. We're really excited about working with them, and feel like we've found a great home, because they've been very supportive and they really like the album!
Blistering.com: Are the two album titles of Rotting Paradise and The Doomsayer's Call linked in any sort of way? What prompted you to call the new album The Doomsayer's Call?
Bertilsson: Perhaps in the way that they both deal with pretty dystopian views of the world around us. The Doomsayer's Call was coined by our singer Joel, and it was something that really stuck in the back of everyone's mind. We had a number of different suggestions for the album title, but none of them felt as good as what we eventually decided on.
Blistering.com: The album artwork differs from most death metal covers. It has almost a comic book-like feel to it, so what made you use a cover like this?
Bertilsson: We knew from the start that we wanted something a little different than what you might usually expect from a death metal band. We've had the honor to have the artwork to our previous albums done by Orion Landau, and they both contain a central figure. All of us wanted this album to have something that differed from our previous albums, but still with a central figure.
The idea to the artwork originated when I saw Metropolis, the 1927 film by Fritz Lang. I talked to the other guys and said that it would be awesome to let the artwork be inspired by it. Joel instantly like the idea, and the other guys thought it might be cool as well. Then we got in touch with Pär Olofsson who has done some amazing stuff for a lot of bands, and he envisioned our ideas, resulting in an amazing piece of album artwork. I totally understand the comic book argument, even though I don't look at it like that (but that's probably just because I know the story behind it). I guess people can make whatever they want of it, but we had a certain idea behind it.