Great Cold Emptiness bring end to trilogy with uplifting masher ‘Immaculate Hearts Will Triumph’

Great Cold Emptiness’ Nathan Guerrette

Our lives are adventures that contain myriad levels of learning, developing, making mistakes, and trying to get a better definition of who we are as individuals. The events in our lives shape us for better, worse, or indifferent, and that data that etches itself into our psyches has a major hand in helping us navigate where we’re going and how we’re going to proceed. A lot of times, our journeys are tumultuous.

Nathan Guerrette, the key driving force behind cinematic black metal force Great Cold Emptiness, has been on a sojourn himself that has played out on his “The Becoming of Man,” trilogy, the final serving of which arrives on “Immaculate Hearts Will Triumph.” These four epic tracks focus on the communities we build among friends, forgiveness we show others, and how we build these relationships that can become the center of our lives. At the same time, Guerrette also ties in the events of the Our Lady of Fatima events in Portugal, 1917, along with his own spiritual experiences that colored this record. Joined by vocalist Meghan Wood (Crown of Asteria) and bassist/guitarist Preston Lobzun (Rampancy, Narchthrone, etc.) as well as guests Caleb Hennessey (Dismalimerence, Meadows of Melancholy, etc.) and Elijah Cirricione (Aetheric Existence, Cyclopean, etc.), the entire group fleshes out these massive, emotional, incredibly atmospheric songs that bleed humanity and help seal wounds.

“The Patron Saint of Whalewatching” opens the record and runs 14:28, starting with a melodic burst that makes the ground shake. Wood’s shrieks destroy as vibrant playing and gazey flooding pair up and fill your senses, heading into a dreamy sequence that takes over your mind and body. The playing builds out of that, shrieks rain down, and keys shimmer, the playing welling up dangerously, spilling over edges and cultivating energy. Another synth wall awaits as the elements rush once more and blend together before succumbing to a bed of keys. “To Die for the Ideal” carries over the synth cloud and meets up with volcanic jolts, amping up the emotion and walking right into powerful shrieks. The guitars soar and develop a steaming atmosphere, clean calls beckon, and a wave of warmth melts ice blocks as the playing swarms again. Melodies collect, punishment rises, and everything fades into the horizon.

“She Sang of Hyperborea” is the second-longest track at 13:49, and it explodes with great energy, and shrieks fire up and rampage. A brief serenity helps you cool off, and then it’s into guitars taking over and blasting with fury, keys melting and running like a cold stream, and random colors chase shadows. The growls rumble as the room begins to spin, spellbinding melodies work into your mind, and the shrieks crush, flowing with intensity before gently trailing away. Closer “With Friends Like These” dawns with glimmering synth, freezing shrieks, and the playing pounding away, blasting through the earth’s crust. The emotion charges from your stomach into your chest, keys light up and streak across the sky, and the playing pounds, slipping into an almost danceable rhythm and bouncing to a pulsating finish.

The closure of “The Becoming of a Man” trilogy on “Immaculate Hearts Will Triumph” is both thrilling and sad, being that we have this intensely moving record but one that ends this story the band has been telling. Great Cold Emptiness is unlike most bands in the atmospheric black metal range in that their hearts outwardly bleed, and the inspirations and life experiences they have poured into this project are ones to which all humans can relate on some level. This record is filled with camaraderie, healing, and compassion, and it’s an incredible final chapter to the ultimate discovery tale.

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