Cold In Berlin: The Comfort Of Loss & Dust

Third album from the doom-gaze quartet.

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With a name and album title like that, you’re not expecting effervescent punk pop and a cover of Walking On Sunshine. But even if these Londoners show little inclination to resist the goth tag, their brand of dry-ice-shrouded, black-clad alt.rock can still surprise you.

The slow, grinding insistence of She Walks and The Sinner’s trudging, diabolic riffs quickly starts to become hypnotic, and when it underpins Maya’s drowning-not-waving, scream-flecked vocals (which manage to sound like Faith-era Robert Smith duetting with Siouxsie), it’s enough to reel in anyone with a taste for goth-rock like your mum used to make.

Fucking Loud quickly builds to an increasingly manic mantra, but disintegrates within two minutes to be replaced by the brooding soundscapes and portentous spoken-word poetry of Mysterious Spells.

It’s all a little melodramatic perhaps, but when it comes to music like this, you leave your self-consciousness at the graveyard gates. And when Pray For Us turns into a plodding but strangely riveting paean to lost souls, as the guitars lurch ever forward like extras from Dawn Of The Dead, you simply have to embrace the horror and enjoy./o:p

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock