Colossloth - Plague Alone [Cold Spring - 2020]Cold Spring presents Plague Alone the new album (CD/Digital) by Colossloth. Based out of Leicester (UK), Wooly Woolaston has been crafting superlative dark electronic music since the mid-2000’s and his latest offering is no exception. One might get the impression from the title that this album was a response to the duress and isolation of the global pandemic, however rather prophetically, this was recorded well before our current predicament.Talk about an ominous sign of things to come.
My last foray into Woolaston’s work was 2015’s Outstretch Your Hand For The Impress Of Truth, which I greatly enjoyed. I admired his ability to weave various disparate elements of experimental music into a cohesive and engrossing listen, not always an easy task to accomplish. He continues on that path with Plague Alone. While the same DNA is on there, it’s markedly different than Outstretch... in some regards. It’s not a minimalist album per say, however it sounds more stripped down and elemental. Layers have been discarded and a more focused and intimate sound remains.
Through seven tracks Woolaston melds electronic noise, ambient, and instrumental work to create spellbinding cinematic soundscapes. It was an emotional ride for this listener as Plague Alone managed to stir up feelings of dread, melancholy, and even optimism at times. Favorite tracks are “Dies Infaustus” (a short electronic track of glitchy bits and pulsing waves), “Scylla is Rising” (a simultaneously haunting and uplifting piece) and “Slit”, which opens with this menacing harpsichord playing before eventually disintegrating into a mass of noise. Plague Alone is a hypnotic journey from beginning to end, a journey I plan to take again and again.
I’d be curious to hear what Woolaston’s thoughts are on Plague Alone given the continuing circumstances the world finds itself in. If nothing else, we can always take refuge in Plague Alone to get us through to the other side. Another highly recommended release from the Cold Spring catalog.