World Gone Cold – ‘WORLD GONE COLD’

By Ian Kenworthy

Imagine the scene, you’re struggling to find a hook to hang your review on, it seems hopeless, but then, you take a swig of a sparkling beverage; it tastes pretty good, it has an unusual flavour, it’s quite refreshing, and then you discover the container is 100% recycle. It’s a perfect metaphor for World Gone Cold, a new band made up from members of P.O.D., Demon Hunter, Disciple, The Letter Black and Attack Attack! – they’re new, exciting and, while it’s a bit of an overstatement to call them a supergroup, there’s a certain pedigree here and their self-titled EP isn’t just empty calories.

Maybe you don’t recognise what the ingredients are; Traa Daniels, Yogi Watts, Andrew Stanton, Mark Anthony with Ryland Raus rounding out the line-up, with each brings elements from their own band. What this means in practice is they’re playing hard rock by way of metal with a good helping of electronics – Not garnished with, or a side-order of, but so intertwined it’s difficult to separate the sounds. One thing is clear, they know what they’re doing and while it’s probably reductive to refer to it as ‘pop-metal’, it isn’t a bad description.

At seven tracks it’s a substantial EP and the songs have two main flavours, one leaning more toward metal, the other toward R & B. So while ‘Left To Save’ is built around djent-flavoured metalcore the alt-rock ‘Opposites Attract’ sits comfortably beside it. By hammocking these two sounds, it keeps the energy high and makes for a cohesive set.

Deep in the record you’ll find a fascinating blend of rhythms, with the pulsing beat of Watts’ bass pedals giving everything a pounding, almost dancefloor fizz. Despite the interwoven electronics, there’s no shortage of breakdowns like the heavy chugging on ‘Attention’ or the robotic thunder of ‘Left To Save’. The guitar tones are carefully chosen too, blending neatly until wicked solos or Whammy-style pitch-bending gives them chance to stand out. Indeed, everything is thoughtfully layered and there’s a lot going on, especially on ‘Again’ which you could accuse of getting a little carried away, but it doesn’t feel egregious or leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The magic ingredient is vocalist Ryland Raus. Originally of metalcore veterans Inhale/Exhale, more recently he’s been involved with Attack Attack!’s rebirth and with rock band Dark Island. Here he blends those styles with R & B vocal runs to carve his way through the music and certainly doesn’t shy away from a huge chorus, like on ‘Apology’. The results might remind you of Memphis May Fire, Emarosa, Soft Play or a whole host of Johnny Craig projects.

Understandably, given the musical vibe, the lyrics tell tales of broken hearts and while heavier songs like ‘Burn’ are more abstract, they follow similar patterns, hence the whole EP can be read as a breakup journey. This intension is obvious on ‘Again’ during Raus’ anguished plea to “try to make things right” but the EP’s final refrain ‘moving on without you’ makes it explicit. Ironically, it’s this closing track ‘Reality’ that proves to be the highlight. While it’s hardly sparse, the restraint gives Raus more space to show off, making for a compelling and effective conclusion.

World Gone Cold is an assured and engaging debut. “Do I have your attention?” Raus asks on the EP’s fourth track. The answer is a resounding; yes

IAN KENWORTHY

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