Disarmonia Mundi – Cold Inferno (Coroner Records)

Sunday, 7th June 2015
Rating: 9.5/10

Having tracked Disarmonia Mundi since 2004 when they released their second album, Fragments of D-Generation, it’s safe to say that the band has only gotten better with time. The follow-up Mind Tricks locked in their formula of devastating speed with uber-melodic choruses and 2009’s The Isolation Game pushed everything to 11. But then there was silence. Of course, Claudio Ravinale and Ettore Rigotti have been far from being “out of the game,” with a number of projects and leading their talents to other bands (most notably the very Disarmonia Mundi-lite group The Stranded), but nothing quite fills the heart and soul with top notch melodic death metal the way Disarmonia Mundi does.

Cold Inferno is the first DM release in six years, and long story short – it delivers. As already mentioned above, the band’s trademark approach is largely intact. A whirlwind of layered melodic riffs moving at frantic speeds guide each track and then dip in for an infectious chorus. This is fast, heavy, and intense when it wants to be, in stark contrast to many melodic death bands that err on the side of caution and mid-tempo riffing. What makes it work is that there is a sense of immediacy given by the hooky choruses that reel you in, yet as you continue to listen to each track, you’ll hear something that you didn’t notice before in the faster sections within the densely layered melodies that will make you continue to return to the album. “Coffin” is a great example of this, with one of Rigotti’s strongest choruses providing the initial hook, but if you really sit back and toss on some headphones, the melodies that grace the song throughout are stunning (check out the layered harmonies within the more driving riffs). You can go through the entire disc and essentially do the same with each track. As it has been since Fragments, Soilwork’s Bjorn Strid brings his vocals to a few tracks, and the trio of singers does have some shining moments of vocal interplay, particularly in “Creation Dirge,” “Slaves to the Illusion of Life,” and “Oddities from the Ravishing Chasm.”

Trimming away the instrumental fat from The Isolation Game is one of the more noticeable differences (hence there are only 10 tracks), but Cold Inferno confirms Disarmonia Mundi’s status as the most under-rated melodic death metal band going. Many tend to ignore/have not heard of the band due to their “studio-only” status, but there’s a core of die-hards that will wait the band out, yearning for their next release. Hopefully the wait won’t be so long next time as Cold Inferno continues to show Disarmonia Mundi at the top of their game. Easily one of the strongest releases of the year thus far.

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