Midas Fall – Cold Waves Divide Us (Monotreme Records)

Monday, 11th March 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

Plain to see, a lot of the bands that this scribe is drawn to are on the heavier end of the spectrum, leaning towards death, black, and doom especially. Don’t let that fool you, as my sometimes twisted brain is drawn to the ethereal and drippingly emotive just as much, if not more at times. Bands like Anathema and the criminally underrated ShamRain (seriously, listen to them and try not to be moved) are a constant, especially when the often unpredictable monster known as depression rears its suffocating shadow. My wonderful wife and – somewhat ironically – sad, downtrodden music are my most important things to lean on when that crushing feeling in my chest is ever present. Another act who ticks those boxes is the Scottish trio of Midas Fall. Their gorgeous, lush post-rock compositions have a way of reaching deep into one’s spirit.

Midas Fall’s peak thus far for these ears had been 2018’s Evaporate, and more than a bit of time has passed to get to their latest, Cold Waves Divide Us. Most assuredly, that six year absence was worth the wait. This record is like an emotional punch to the gut – surreal and dreamlike, but weighty and heartfelt all at once. Opening track “In The Morning We’ll Be Someone Else” is a thunderous cloud of morose feelings, further emphasized by Elizabeth Heaton’s mesmerizing voicings. She’s never sounded better – soaring highs and radiant croons that consistently hit the perfect pitch at just the right time, while glistening guitars push the music to powerful heights.

“I Am Wrong” continues the momentum with a Katatonia-like level of pensiveness. Punchy rhythms generate the pace, layered behind clean guitar segments that whirl a sullen tale of wistfulness. Entries such as “In This Avalanche” are more reserved and elegant, but no less potent. Midas Fall are no doubt masters at gracefully enveloping the listener with their soundscapes, and as the album moves along, our attention didn’t waver for a second. “Point of Diminishing Return” utilizes electronica with occasional violins to craft a different purview, whereas “Monsters” sits firmly within post-rock musings, artfully galloping along. Likewise, the title track is thickly swathed in serene moments that beg to be heard, being one of the most atmospheric pieces. Closer “Mute” ends proceedings on a heavier wave that’s wrapped in the band’s trademark dour gloominess, but not without a dose of charm.

What brings Cold Waves Divide Us together as a package is the obvious care on the songwriting end that Midas Fall have put great effort into. Peeling back the many layers reveals more that you may not have noticed before, all the while maintaining a balance in both tone and in the mix that allows every element to shine. The production manages to not only allow the individual performances to shine, but gives the right amount of breathing room so as to not muddy the essence of the music.

This album has touched this sometimes sappy writer in an infinite amount of ways. Cold Waves Divide Us is a cathartic experience that I first experienced when in a difficult place, though we most certainly hope that your own encounter doesn’t find you in a similar mindset, it’s an album we believe can give such an experience no matter the mood. Also know that no matter how rough things seem, you’re not alone, and you’re loved. Music can be a pathway to the soul, after all, and Midas Fall possesses a ticket to the express train.

Midas Fall on Facebook

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