Out From the Cold

1. Heroes
2. Run for your life
3. One in a million
4. Six feet under
5. Time
6. Save our souls
7. The king
8. Fate
9. Seven wonders
10. Angel eyes
11. Heading for tomorrow
12. Out from the cold

Niklas Swedentorp (Vocals)
Michael Larsson (Guitars)
Anders “Kebbe” Lindmark (Bass)
Perra Johanson (Drums)
Matti Eklund (Keyboards & vocals)

Infinate Stargaze (2009)

Ian Haugland (Drums)

Tommy Hansen (mix)

Released 25/2-2011
Reviewed 17/2-2011


Cold spell? Sounds like a trick by Magica de Spell in the Donald Duck comics. Despite the somehow comic-like name of the band this is far from a comical metal tried by Coldspell. This is a power metal album with lots of heavy metal feeling and even though the cover art looks as amateurish as a pre-school class it’s a very mature metal.

Power metal is far from what it was ten years ago, but this genre has still kept more alive this time than what was the case in the 90’s when it more or less disappeared. We can thank bands like Edguy, Sonata Arctica and Rhapsody of Fire who was the big winners of the new wave, as well as bands like Helloween and Gamma Ray for keeping up the work. But the interest drop have also taken some victims, like Metalium who was put in the grave last year and a lot of these smaller acts that never got the big break. Coldspell was formed just as the wave was flattening and this is their second album since the formation in 2005 (with the debut released in 2009).

People with good insight may feel the members names sound familiar, which is because they’ve all played in bands before Coldspell. This might also be the reason why the music Coldspell play sounds so mature and developed, despite it being only the second album. The album information supplied by the label say that Coldspell mix the best from four decades in music. This being the groove of the 70’s, the melodies and choruses of the 80’s, the raw and naked excitement of the 90’s and the production expertise of the millennium. There is actually some tiny bits of truth in this, even though it’s very dominated by 80’s sound. Pieces and fragments of that glimmering production of the last decade can be heard in some songs and the raw excitement of the 90’s as well (but not always in the same songs). The music is mid-tempo or faster and the choruses are almost exclusively made with extra voices sung in best Beatles style, repeated into infinity. Like a toaster stuck in some sort of giant blender.

I’m sensing a lot of hit-potential in this album. There’s at least 3-4 songs with a hit-feel to them and the rest of the album keep a stable quality without overdoing anything. At the same time as I think this, that the album is very good, I can’t get away from the fact that the album clocks in at almost the hour and the shortest of the 12 songs is 3.52 long, which means that with eight songs that isn’t anything special this album have over half an hour of music that more or less only keep the boat floating without taking it forward. Half of this would have been enough, that would have kept the album around the 40 minutes that in nine cases of ten is a good length for an album. It had also resulted in an album with 50% great songs, which definitely also had made the rest look better. But… the album is the way it is and therefore we must look at what the blender has made with the toaster from these conditions.

Well, power metal of course – blended metal and electronics could only result in this. But it’s also an album built around pretty simple guitar lines, some progressive melodies that goes a bit curvy and vocals that reminds me a lot of the sweet voices of the 80’s glam rock. There’s also a guy playing the keys, but to be honest I really hope he’s the one doing the lead vocals and not the another vocalist since the keyboard has such a humble appearance on this album. It can’t even be heard in all songs and when it really can be heard it’s only as a flavor enhancer and not as a dish of its own. I’m not saying this as something negative, to me the space given to each instrument is completely uninteresting – it’s the finished product that makes the difference and on this album I think it works pretty well most of the time.

If we should sort out which songs that belongs to the A-material and which songs that’s B-material, then as I’ve said already there are four songs that goes in the A-league, which are Run For Your Life, Time, Out From the Cold and Seven Wonders (which I think is best of them all). Maybe you can place One in a Million and The King in to some sort of junior A-league. Among the rest are some songs that I think Coldspell could have gone without. Not because they are bad, but because if you see to the total playing time on ‘Out From the Cold’ there are not enough songs that can really spellbind you. And this makes the impression of the album cool down a bit.

Still, I am pleasantly surprised by ’Out From the Cold’ and how good it actually is. It’s absolutely an album that was better than I had expected, which is always good. The album sounds finished, mature and ready to take on the world. There’s much to like with the album and much to get from it, at least to people that still likes power metal. Spellbinding or not, the album might be coming out from the cold, but from time to time it serves a soup of really hot music.


Label - Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands - Tad Morose/TNT/Paragon
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm