Cold Black River (2018)

Cold Black River talks about their newest release: Tales of Death & The Devil
by Tommy Rage
October 2018

Jeremy Roseland, Eric Cobb and Aaron Kanitz from <strong>Cold Black River</strong>

Jeremy Roseland, Eric Cobb and Aaron Kanitz from Cold Black River

You would assume that a band with only three musicians would just keep things simple and not get too complex. That is a great assumption; unless you are Cold Black River. The three talented musicians: Eric Cobb (bass, lead vocals), Aaron Kanitz (drums) and Jeremy Roseland (guitar) have crafted a complex yet simple new album: Tales of Death & The Devil.

With influences from both metal and blues, it’s not a surprise that the trio has twice been nominated for the MAMAs (Madison Area Music Association Awards) for best metal band. Forming in 2015, Cold Black River went into the studio to do something a little different for this, their fourth release. “This time we did more straight forward recording,” shares guitarist Jeremy Roseland, “We didn’t spend a lot of time making our tracks perfect, there are some rough spots, we just kept it dirty.” Shares bassist and lead vocalist Eric Cobb, “We share a rehearsal space with The Grand Fury. On the day we set-off to record the album, Joe (Price) looked me in the eye and said, “keep it dirty!” We kept that as our mantra for the whole recording.”

Combing an eerie instrumental, ‘Numbers Station’, is a spooky trip through the stars. ‘The Deserts of Mars’, leads you on a chilling space trip down a satanic Sabbath-esque bass line riff woven with echoing guitar lines. These thematic songs of Tales of Death & The Devil work really well together and blend effortlessly from one song to another. Asked if the album was written with a concept in mind, Cobb reflects, “I think it just worked out that way naturally with what everyone had written. We like to pull from a lot of different things, but this felt like it was more about the devil being a scape-goat for a lot of things. It’s also about how people are mistreated because of prejudices. That’s where you get a lot of superstition like that, and we touch base on that for this album. If you listen to the lyrics of the songs, they are in some ways in relation to the devil or death or both. Tales of Death & The Devil is almost like a book and it’s a little more down to earth.”                 

The bluesy doom metal feel from ‘Keep Rollin’ and ‘Among the Stars’ shines with a smooth yet abrasive guitar work from Jeremy Roseland, shares Roseland, “I’ve always been a Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) fan, and I like things to be a little more soulful too. I think that’s where we were coming from on this album.” 

‘Vengeance of the Clouds’ and ‘Oh My Goodness’ continue the dark yet relaxed metal feel, brought forward by the drummer Aaron Kanitz and his easy paced styling’s. “That’s one of the things I like about this album”, praises front man Cobb, “it’s how consistent the drums are. They pull you through each and every song, you don’t feel like you get lost from one song to another.” Kanitz adds, “I like to leave it open sometimes, and leave space for everyone. I hadn’t heard some of Jeremy’s guitar stuff he had recorded; I just got into this grove and we ended up reworking some of the songs when I was recording my drum parts.” Closing out Tales of Death & The Devil, ‘Anywhere Ya Wanna’ is a funky death-metal jam which changes tempo midway through without losing any of its smooth metal flow.

Although only 7 songs appear on the track listing (Spotify, iTunes & Pandora), a jab at another local band is buried in the catacombs of Tales of Death & The Devil. Cobb chuckles at the secret track, “a band we know [Droids Attack] wrote a song about us allegedly stealing one of their riffs [laughter]. Now there is this fun rivalry between the bands and we wrote our song. We talk about how badass we are compared to them [laughter].” With the final song hidden away on the album, Cold Black River eagerly await their CD release party on October 31 at The Wisco. As Cobb shares with pride, “We played over 30 gigs last year, and we road-tested a few songs before we recorded them. We knew what we wanted to do [with this album]. If you go to our social media this month (Facebook) and look around at any of our posts, you will find some cool clues, that if you follow the clues they will lead you somewhere.”

Keeping Tales of Death & The Devil flowing from start to finish, Cold Black River combines that bluesy and deep-hearted metal feel throughout their album. All three musicians shine at different points, yet each blend together to pen an Edger Allen Poe-esc tale of doom and delight. Clearly their tale has just begun.

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Cold Black River (2018)
CD: Tales of Death & The Devil Record Label: Self Released