E.P. Review: Pist.On – Cold War

E.P. Review: Pist.On - Cold War
Reviewed by Dan Barnes

Formed in 1993, Pist.On emerged from the same New York scene as Type O Negative and Life of Agony and, within three years had released their debut album, Number One which saw the band heading out on international tours with Type O Negative and Marilyn Manson.

In fact, it was on Manson’s 1997 tour in support of Antichrist Superstar that your humble scribe caught Pist.On at the Manchester Apollo. I don’t remember too many details of that night – being quarter of a century ago, and all – but I do remember thinking that the rotation Pist.On had been getting up to that point suggested big things in their future.

Sadly, just one more full-length in the shape of 1999’s $ell Out and the E.P. Saves a couple of years later would be the last we would hear of Pist.On for more than a decade. A reunion was announced in 2015, made official in 2017 and a seven-date tour passed through the UK in June 2018. Yet it took another four years for us to get the first new material recorded under the Pist.On name in twenty years.

Coming in the shape of a three-track E.P., Cold World sees the core of the band returning; only Val.ium does not reprise her bassist duties and the low-end is handled by Jack Hanley who has been fulfilling the four-string commitments since 2015.

E.P. Review: Pist.On - Cold War

The three new songs on offer here does not attempt to reinvent Pist.On’s wheel, rather it picks up where Saves left off. The heavy, plodding riffs of Cold World and Icicles, supporting a central fuzz, is straight out of the 1990’s-era Alternative rock scene and it suddenly takes you on a nostalgia trip back to a time when heavy music broke free of its shackles and was able to spread its wings.

But don’t be thinking this is a band trying to recapture their former glories by pretending the millennium didn’t happen. There are enough guitar breaks from Henry Font and Burton Gans to satisfy the most modern of tastes and the unexpected shredding, spiralling solos come as a real eye-opener.

Henry’s vocal delivery is whispered and threatening in the most friendly manner possible; the use of harmonies adding another dimension to the sound.

Clocking in at a little under ten-and-a-half minutes, Cold World is an E.P. of opposites: it is both tradition and contemporary, hard edged and melodic and vicious and amiable, and manages this without sounding jarring or disjointed.

Pist.On showed some real potential back in the mid-nineties and it would be a tragedy if that was confined to a couple of albums and an E.P. If Cold World is to be the beginning of phase 2 then it is a fine way for the band to dip their toes into the waters. Fingers-crossed that the full-emersion of a new album is close behind.

For all the latest news, reviews, interviews across the heavy metal spectrum follow THE RAZORS'S EDGE on facebook, twitter and instagram.