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Cold
CD Album 2007 | Silber 061
9 tracks, 58 minutes
$12 ($18 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~103 megs))
: Listen to the track bare
: Press Release
Track Listing:
Frozen, Bare, Baltica, Colder, Snowdrop, Drifting, December, Polaris, Later
Reviews:
Lycia is the definitive artist of the 90's for dark shoegaze and mournful ethereal electronica, and as you may know, Silber Media has been working effortlessly since releasing their last album “Empty Space” to re-release the band's back catalogue, starting with Estella, on to The Burning Circle and then Dust, and now they have momentarily halted their work in 2007 with the re-release of one of the most appreciated and influential albums of the mid-90's for dark souls all around the underground, Cold.
Lycia have been at the throne respectively as king and queen (as Mike Vanportfleet and Tara Vanflower) of the underground electronica, darkwave, and even metal scenes for almost two decades now.  Even one of the most common faces in the depressive black metal underground, Xasthur, admits that Lycia is one of the most influential artists to him as he came to know himself as a musician.  With “Cold”, originally released on America's Projekt label in 1996, Lycia defined themselves as being at the forefront of the scene and as such solidified an already monstrous fanbase that has followed the band even into their quiet era here  in the new millenium.  Today it seems the band is still together, but being very quiet in their location in Arizona.  Band bassist David Galas has remained in Ohio and has recently released his first successful solo album on Vendlus Records entitled “The Cataclysm.”  His primary role on Cold was writing the tracks Colder and December, which turned out to be the most representative of his work today as a solo artist.
Of course, with a new label comes new artwork as well, and Silber Records have paid homage to the band and their bleak, minimal sound through the usage of the same techniques on this visual medium.  Using blurred dull pink and purple tones, the artwork is spacious and reflects nearly nothing inside its booklet other than the distorted imagery of tree branches in late Autumn.  The back of the booklet of course shows the production notes in as minimal a way as possible, as the back cover portrays the track listing and the label logo to the left of yet more distorted Autumn scenery.
All in all, this is a most worthy re-release for a band that has come to mean so much to all of us in the past two decades.  Silber Media has gone above and beyond in their search to re-release Lycia's discography and one can only imagine the price they've paid to get the rights from Project.  In all, if Cold wasn't already a perfect release, then Silber has gone above and beyond to give it the spotlight that it has deserved for so many years in the underground.  Here's hoping for a few more re-releases before the label ends its quest.
~ Sage, Heathen Harvest

“Cold” is the third in a series of remasters of all five Lycia studio albums on Silber Records. Recorded in 1996 following a tour and the band’s relocation from Phoenix, Arizona to Northern Ohio, “Cold” marks a move to a sparser, more soundscape focussed sound for the group. Lycia were the trio of David Galas, Tara Vanflower and Mike VanPortfleet, the latter of whom has also remastered this series of reissues. Moving away from the more song focussed “The Burning Circle and Then Dust”, “Cold” consists of nine lengthy tracks, the shortest of which clocks in at just under five minutes. Concentrating largely on atmosphere and flowing guitar-based soundscapes, “Cold” proved to be one of Lycia’s most popular albums, earning fans from both their regular gothic fanbase and new admiration from as far afield as the black metal and space rock communities. Essentially focussed around drifting guitar textures augmented with atmospheric synth texture and Vanflower’s haunting vocal accompaniment, the feeling throughout is dark and emotionally charged. On tracks such as “Baltica” and “December”, the mood is particularly tense and fraught like some life-changing decision is being contemplated. Balanced beautifully between an ambient soundtrack, darkwave classic and space rock epic, “Cold” stylishly sprawls several genres whilst recognising its gothic roots.
~ Paul Lloyd, Sideline

Formed in 1988, darkwave and ambient band Lycia have been highly regarded for quite some time now (with even the likes of Trent Reznor and other popular musicians embracing the band’s sound). Though some of their albums have been out of print for awhile now, thanks to Silber Records the band’s sixth release (and one of their most critically acclaimed) Cold is now available once again. If you missed it the first time around it’s certainly worth a listen, as despite having come out nearly 12 years ago the music still feels fresh.
Cold couldn’t be a more appropriate title for this album. Downright chilling, the instrumental arrangements have a winter feeling to them. What I mean by this is that the arrangements bring to mind the image of one wandering in a snowstorm through the woods, perhaps lost and fighting for survival. Ambient music is perfect for creating a story without even having proper lyrics, and the atmospheric instrumentals of Lycia’s Cold certainly help to reinforce this statement. Though slow in tempo, the songs plodding and subtle changes will attract many listeners.
There are vocals on this album but they are muted and delegated to the background, making the instrumentals the key focus of Lycia’s music. However, with a combination of whispered and soft male and female vocals Cold is extremely haunting and melodic. Listeners may not be able to make out all of the lyrics throughout the course of this album, but this is one case where atmosphere wins over lyrics as the vocalists help to reinforce the chilling atmosphere of the instrumentals.
Lycia’s sixth album was a great listen back in 1996 and it is still refreshing now. Music such as this hasn’t aged at all and feels just as fresh now as it did back then. If you missed out on this the first time, definitely check it out now. In addition, if you’re new to darkwave as a whole Cold is a great place to start your journey. Here’s hoping Silber Records gives us more reissues from this excellent group.
~ Chris Dahlberg, Cosmos Gaming

The Silber Records Lycia series continues with this reissue of the band's 1996 Cold album. Though Lycia have been around for many years, the Silber releases have been my introduction to their music. I was particularly keen to hear this one after reading in the promo sheet that Cold was popular among the Black Metal and Space Rock crowds, and that older rockers in Hawkwind and Motorhead t-shirts were seen side-by-side with teenaged Goths at concerts on the tour for the album.
The music on Cold is definitely Gothic/Darkwave in nature, though there's also a heavily symphonic keyboard presence and some Space Rock flavored synths. The atmosphere is dark and somber, yet dreamily melodic. Among the highlights is "Bare", which has a Gothic core, plus Space-Prog keyboards and nice dual vocals from Tara Vanflower and Mike VanPortfleet. Lycia excel at beautiful melodies surrounded by majestic symphonics, typically delivered at a slowly drugged pace. Real sweep you away kind of stuff. I do tend to prefer Tara's vocals, although I must say in general that the best Goth music I've heard has female vocals. One exception is "Drifting", which I think Mike's vocals were ideal for (Tara does join in later in the song). "Polaris" is another one of my favorites, being a spacey, orchestral Gothic exploratory piece, with chanting vocals from Tara.
So yes, I can easily see where Cold would appeal to a Space Rock audience, and really their previous album, The Burning Circle and then Dust, would as well. In fact, the two are excellent companion albums.
~ Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations

It’s 10 degrees outside, it snowed like 3 feet last night, and my friggin’ hands are still cold from scrapping ice off of my car, thank thee gods there’s bands like Lycia. Lycia’s ‘Cold’ is probably the most perfectly titled album ever, and also my favorite Lycia release to date. Cold truly invokes the feelings of bitter coldness and can easily conjure up images in ones head of seeing nothing but endless miles of snow. Musically as you probably know Lycia’s music lies in the darkwave field of music, but as always darkwave music is hard to describe. As far as Lycia is concerned they make very chilly, despondent, ethereal music that relies heavily on synth with the occasional use of guitar, bass, and percussion. Cold is just full of atmosphere like you wouldn’t believe (Try listening to this album in your car on a very cold snowy night and you’ll see what I’m talking about). Vocally Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower stick to very delicate whispered vocal styles that only add to this creepy wintry atmosphere. With this release Lycia perfectly captures the feelings of winter. All in all a fantastic release that always sees a lot of attention during these months of the year. Fans of darkwave music or those just looking for something dark, frosty, and disheartening sounding should own this.
~ Joe Mlodic, Lunar Hypnosis

Cold is one of those impossible to achieve ambient classics, built from Mike VanPortfleet’s frightening vision of endless desperation and loneliness, made all the more chilling by Tara Vanflower’s lingering, ghost-like voice, and David Galas’ precision bass-work, drum, and synth contributions.  With a landscape of endless snow and ice, banshee-wailing winds, and a jolt of perpetual fear, Cold is a walk into someone’s unending nightmare.
Originally released in 1996 on Projekt Records, this haunting soundtrack has set a standard for ambient music that proves that created sounds can explore the depth and expanse of human emotion, in this case, totally abject fear.  One of the more superior tracks, “Baltica” is beyond description.  When Vanflower begins her eerie vocals, the song takes on a new life and personifies the album.  Cold, simply, has to be heard to be experienced and appreciated.
Cold is largely for ambient fans, although many have professed a love for this work.  Cold has even been used in film because it lends itself so well to an atmospheric storyline.  I’m surprised that VanPortfleet hasn’t an established career in film soundtrack.
However, I do have an issue with this release, and that is the absence of a detailed booklet.  The original digipak released by Projekt was devoid of words, letting the music do the work.  In this reissue, there should be some historical data, some written words on the creation of this album.  I think that this work demands that kind of immortalizing at this point, 11 years later.  I have hope that the next time Cold is revisited, it gets the complete treatment is deserves.
Timeless works are defined by their ability to be revisited over time.  Lycia’s Cold is absolutely one of these classics.
~ Matt Rowe, Music Tap

Longtime pioneers of ethereal goth/darkwave and a favorite of Silber since before the label even started, the remastered Cold is essential, solitude headphone listening for the corresponding climate. "Bare," "Colder," and "December" and every other track have well-placed electronic drums, gothy male/female vocals that float around and guitars out of the darkest Cocteau Twins songs. As far as this type of music goes, it's as fresh and moody as it was when first released a decade ago.
~ Kenyon Hopkins, Advanced Copy

The third re-mastered album to be released by Silber, Cold saw the Arizona based group (made up of Mike Vanportfleet, Tara Vanflower and David Galas) move from their arid and humid abode to the snowy and chilly state of Ohio, thus creating an album that discovered new landscapes and surroundings via its mix of darkwave and ambience respectively. Cold isn’t just the name of an album here, it’s a statement of the feelings the album produces.
‘Frozen’ for example, the first track on the album, emits a shimmering flourish of wintry darkwave guitars and ethereal vocals, that with pace and emotion, set the scene for the music to come and lure you tenderly into continuing your journey into the album. ‘Frozen’ flows effortlessly into ‘Bare’ with a slow yet apparent drum beat precluding the first appearance of Vanflower’s haunting voice that duets perfectly with Vanportfleet’s and adds a palpable dimension of emotion and distinction to the track.
‘Baltica’ meanwhile adds a classically gothic element with nursery rhyme style rhythm to the music as well as an opener that encompasses Vanflower “la-la-ing” to add to the surreal and dreamlike quality of the track, making way for her whispered vocals to take centre stage in one of the stand out songs on the album.
‘Colder’, an instrumental movement, also ranks highly within the pedigree of tracks that accumulates this album, with a minimalist and isolating, almost drone like beginning, until the darkwave, slowed down a notch or two, kicks in, creating an affecting and sombre picture that blankets the whole album in terms of imagery and theme.
On its release, Alternative Press ranked Cold one of the most important goth albums of all time, and with this re-mastering you can easily tell, or more appropriately hear why they were right. However rather than the album merely speaking volumes of itself it goes on to give evidence of just how important, creative and influential lycia were, and while their fan base may have shrunk after their split, their sway over goth, darkwave and ambient is truly eternal.
~ Michael Byrne, Left Hip

I can’t seem to figure out what’s up with all the darkwave re-releases lately. Not that I’m complaining: Some of this stuff has been out of print and next to impossible to find for quite some time. But this particular release isn’t all that difficult to track down in its original form. Regardless, Lycia is far and away one of my favorite bands from the depressing darkwave genre, and there is a definite reason why this album is called Cold. From the opening drone of “Frozen” through the final dirge of “Later,” this album never actually allows you to breathe: you literally have the experience of drowning … slowly, but extremely welcome, nonetheless.
~ loveyoudead, Slugmag

Lycia don't pussyfoot around. While other bands seem to spend half their time hiding the eyeliner and crimping tongs, or denying they're goths three times before the bat squeaks, Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower are quite happy to do photoshoots dressed as zombie farmhands. So when the braaaains-craving pair release an album called Cold you know to opt for the pair of headphones with the fuzzy earmuff covers, because from chilly cavern to icicle-tipped peak it's going to be a frostbitten trip.
This is actually a reissued outing for the record; originally released in a glut of Lycian creativity which also saw them churn out a double album and the splendidly bleak A Day in the Stark Corner, all within a two year period. VanPortfleet has since been on a mountain expedition to relocate the snow-hole he buried the album in and dug it out for a spot of remastering (not that any audio-resuscitation was desperately needed). Meanwhile, the chaps at Silber Records have taken up the distribution cause (this is now the fifth in their Lycia series) and added an enigmatically misty-blurry new cover, perhaps to fool people into thinking they may need an eye exam. Such trickery is the devil's work.
The album finds our introspective twosome shying away from earlier forays with guitars and eerie four-track recordings, and instead harnessing sumptuous waves of droning electronics. These abundant layers are like a frozen waterfall, offering the beauty of a captured cascade—trapped forever in a single moment. Glorious, yes, but a barrier which keeps listeners at a distance, preventing the penetration of this picturesque wall. Inside are the outlines of perfectly preserved water sirens, their mouths open, eternally delivering a wailing harmony. Untouchable. Unknowable. Emotional depth remains tantalizingly out of reach, deflected by a beguiling surface sheen.
Yet to shatter these icy constructs would destroy the wintery spell. The trance-like state of yearning for what lies beneath. The search for an elusive flower beneath the permafrost. Both the inner core and outer expression serve a purpose, catching mind and ear respectively. Each wrapped within pounding, towering keys and the kind of snare reverb Andrew Eldritch would be proud of. If he viewed darkwave acts with anything other than a disdainful sense of loathing, that is.
All of this does, however, demand the right frame of mind—and even then some stretches of tundra do rather drag to the horizon. Especially "Polaris," which is pretty much seven minutes of the duo going "la laaa laa" to varying degrees. Such musical attrition may even batter down the defenses of an unprepared ear, rather like the actual spread of cold itself. Eventually you'll feel like a family of happy campers caught out by a deadly flurry. The gas stove has gone out, limbs have long since gone numb and the next gentle doze could invite the fatal fingers of the reaper. Just stay awake little Timmy ... just stay awake ... and you may glimpse the morning sun.
~ Peter Parrish, Stylus

Lycia always has been one of my favourite b ands. Ever since I discovered Lycia ’s groundbreaking album Ionia their coldwave (or whatever you might call it) is a league of their own. The mixture of the icy and slow guitar of David Galas, the mesmerising voices of Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower together with compelling drums and synths manage to create an atmosphere like no one else. Cold actually concerns a re-release since it is originally released in ’96. Now re-mastered it is available on Silber Records.
I fully understand why Silber Records decided to re-release this album because Cold is one of the most highly respected albums our American friends. With opening track Frozen they set the tone; cold, dramatic and dreamy dark passages which seep you in the surreal world of Lycia . It feels like opening the curtains and the entire world is lost; covered under a deep blanket of the purest white snow. My favourite track is Drifting, which also can be found on the Project label sampler Beneath the Icy Flow; a beautiful slow passage where the qualities of the threesome mentioned above are presented in a perfect manner. All nine songs are superb and saw too it that the album made its spins in my cd-player over and over……
If you are a fan of Lycia you might already have purchased Cold. If not; buy it!
Cold is a must have for everyone who’s a fan of atmospheric music. Cold is more than just an ordinary album. It is a collection of impressions and feelings bundled and presented in a sublime manner!
~ Gothtronic

Cold is right, this reissue of Mike VanPortfleet’s dark ambient music project’s third album, emits an icy chill into the atmosphere. Endlessly dark walls and waves of synthetic gloom surround the goulishly gothic whispered male vocals or Tara Vanflower’s cooly cooing singing, which makes things sound like a very sad Cocteau Twins stirring the last embers of the bonfire as the night surrounds them. Like dark soundtracks to ominous and terrifying mysteries.
~ George Parsons, Dream Magazine

Cold is the latest in a series of Lycia reissues offered by Raleigh, North Carolina's Silber label. According to the press release that accompanied this CD, Cold has apparently been the most well-received album from this band...having already been embraced by Goth folks and space music freaks. This album is dark and spacey...and the instruments are drenched in reverb and other effects. The voices seem to have been added at the end of the recording process...often sounding more like background effects that traditional lead vocals. Folks who found The Cocteau Twins too accessible and poppy will probably find Lycia much more to their liking. Odd, moody, and slightly surreal...Cold is a dark and peculiar album full of ambient washes and cool tripped out guitars. Nine cuts here including "Frozen," "Colder," "Drifting," and "Polaris."
~ Babysue

Silber continue their fascinating Lycia reissue series with the album (originally recorded and released in the winter of 1996) that Alternative Press hailed as “one of the Top 10 Goth-related albums of all time.” The trio of bassist David Galas, groupie-turned-band member/vocalist, Tara Vanflower and leader Mike VanPortfleet (who personally remastered this reissue with an incredibly crisp, explosive atmosphere that completely envelops the listener in a wall of sound), had recently relocated form the arid deserts of Arizona to the frozen landscapes of northern Ohio, resulting in a more expansive, more sound-oriented (as opposed to song-oriented) album. This becomes immediately apparent on The Cure-like opener, ‘Frozen.’ Tara’s disembodied vocals emulate a lost soul, “frozen” in the wilderness, perhaps reaching out for the comfort of human contact and bodily warmth. Both VanPortfleet and Galas’ throbbing, stalking bass favorably recall the detached ennui of The Cure’s “suicide trilogy” (‘Faith,’ ‘Seventeen Seconds’ and ‘Pornography), with the latter perhaps being the closest sonic comparison. In fact, apart from the thermally descriptive aspect of the album’s title, it may be no accident that it is also the title of one of ‘Pornography’’s most jarring tracks.
‘Bare,’ as its title suggests, strips away some of Lycia’s more bombastic aspects for a more ethereal approach, settling comfortably between the grandeur of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. Gonging bells, forlorn, far off piano tinklings and Tara’s nursery rhymish “la la la’s” float across ‘Baltica,’ which has more of a darkwave, noirish, European vibe, a la Clan of Xymox, with a touch of Kate Bush’s more theatrically aloof whispers hovering in the background. ‘Colder’ is more cinematic and expansive, as the trio delve deeper in to the influence their arctic surroundings had upon their psyches and bodies, moving from 100+ degree temperatures to below-zero frost. The track’s swaying aura also occasionally reminded me of vintage Slowdive, particularly ‘Spanish Air.’ Bells and tambourines add a festive atmosphere to ‘Snowdrop,’ perhaps reflecting the band’s experience of their first snow-covered Christmas. Being a northeast coast US lad myself, I can’t imagine a Christmas, or at least a winter without a blanket of snow to frolic in, let alone spending it in the blistering desert sun, and this sense of wonder is beautifully captured by the track, which is fittingly one of the album’s more upbeat efforts. It expresses an almost childlike wonder and fascination with the snow-covered mountains, hills and backyards of their new neighborhood. The album’s main themes seem to be exploring the dichotomy of the desert heat vs. the cold Midwest winters, as well as the anxiety flushed with fascination of an entirely new physical environment which they have translated into their music.
One final side note for fans who prefer, or whose schedule requires them to do most of their listening in their vehicles: kudos to Silber honcho Brian John Mitchell for making the extra effort of adding the CD information to the disk, which displays the track titles on CD players so equipped. An unfortunate aspect of the bleak artwork is that the track titles are almost completely invisible, which is very frustrating for reviewers and anal-retentive types like me who like to know the name of the song they’re listening to. So having it scroll across the CD head unit is a technological advance that most labels don’t take the time (or expense) to provide their customers. It may be a minor point, but it shows the dedication to his fans’ needs that Mitchell provides via his wonderfully eclectic label. So, we highly recommend this personally remastered edition to fans of Gothic, Darkwave, noirish, ambient soundscapists from 4AD-enizens, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, and Clan of Xymox to fans of The Cure’s “suicide trilogy” period, as well as former Lycia labelmates at Projekt (Black Tape for A Blue Girl, Love Spirals Downward) and the more commercial end of the Goth scene like Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Delerium, and Die Form.
~ Jeff Penczak, Terrascope Online

If you’re one of the uninitiated, I’ll admit it: there’s really no easy entrance into Cold, Lycia’s fourth full-length (fifth, if you count 1989’s Wake). At first blush, it’s overwrought and pretentious, rife with any and every goth cliché you can think of, from Mike VanPortfleet’s sinister vocals to lyrics such as “All the aching signs we miss/To live in purple scarlet bliss/And swim with jeweled golden fish/And breathe the autumn air so crisp” ("Snowdrop") to morose, shadowy atmospherics guaranteed to cause pale folks in long, black robes to start swaying and swirling en masse.
The thing is, Lycia never attempt to deny any of this. They do nothing to deny the clichés inherent in their music. On the contrary, they dive headlong into them with wild abandon, inhabiting them fully, and never once shirking from the stylistic and aesthetic ramifications. As such, the music certainly never transcends its clichés and tropes. Rather, the band’s intensity and integrity transforms those clichés into something that feels wholly original, lively, and perhaps most importantly, convincing.
Originally released in 1996, Cold is noteworthy for several reasons. One, Cold marked the band’s move towards a more atmospheric, expansive sound. Two, its creation and release coincided with Mike VanPortfleet’s move from his native Arizona to the snowbound wastelands of Ohio (hence the abundant winter imagery). Three, it was essentially Lycia’s “breakout” album, earning them fans outside their original goth circles. And four, it marked Tara Vanflower’s growing role within the band, on both vocals and keys.
Even with a slight change in sonic direction, though, Cold is still unmistakably Lycia. While the sound might move/drift in a more ambient manner, the basic elements—VanPortfleet’s skeletal whisper of a voice, his brittle guitars, the ominous drum programming—remain the same. Which, when it works, makes for pretty compelling stuff.
There are moments when Lycia gets a little too caught up in the mood and the moment, and the music becomes a bit too pretentious for its own good. However, that’s always been the case with Lycia’s music going all the way back to Wake—and as I mentioned before, pretentious really goes with the territory. But when Lycia hits their stride, all of the pretense and bombast works entirely in their favor, and the music feels more comprehensive and accomplished than portentous.
“Bare” is the album’s standout track, and like much of the Vanflower-laced tracks in the band’s catalog, resembles a much darker, spookier Cocteau Twins (think the Cocteaus attempting something along the lines of Pornography).
If Victorialand was inspired by Antarctica’s magical landscapes, then “Bare” comes straight from the continent’s long, sunless winters, during which one’s sanity is challenged by the nightbound weeks as the aurora australis shimmers high overhead. VanPortfleet’s guitarwork is especially noteworthy here, capable of creating both icy sheets of noise that seem to suck the very warmth from the air as well as delicate, lofty notes that inject a little light and warmth into the song’s latter moments.
The band sounds nothing short of majestic on “Snowdrop”, approaching the hallowed territory of Dead Can Dance’s earlier albums, back when Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry were still exploring the mystical and the arcane in their music. The song moves at a solemn, stately pace, Vanflower’s voice echoes between shimmering towers of icy synths, and the entire song seems to be wrapped up in a winter wind so sharp and cold, it takes the breath away.
Lycia’s world can be a tough one to fully enter into, simply because it’s so easy and tempting to dismiss. However, once you set foot into the band’s dark, twilit realm and surrender, even just a bit, to their whims and fancies, the effect is bracing and even thrilling—much like the coldest and stiffest winter breeze you can imagine.
~ Jason Morehead, Opus

We wrote before about Lycia, of whom Silber Records are now releasing five older CDs. Lycia was Mike van Portfleet (guitars, vocals, synth and drum programs), David Galas (bass, synth, drumprograms, audio-engineering) and Tara Vanflower on vocals. Of the planned re-issues, apparently 'Cold' is the masterpiece, one of the top ten Goth albums of all time, according to Alternative Press (maybe says something about being alternative) and goth and me was never a good marriage. Having said that and having played 'Cold', I must admit could actually enjoy the music. It's absolutely nicely produced dark popmusic, brought with a lot of pathos, heavy drums, dark minor chords on the guitar and atmospheric synthesizers. Still, being an old guy, I prefer the old Cure and Cocteau Twins records - I can even admit having a Dead Can Dance record on my ipod - but I surely like this as well. However the thought of hearing ten different goth records in order to produce a top ten is of course a bridge too far.
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Speaking of Lycia, Silber Records reissue project (or should that be projekt?) continues on with what many consider their most important release, Cold. At the time, the release did garner them a bit of attention, both for its beauty and excellence and because their label was enjoying a bit of critical acclaim. I know that of Lycia's output, Cold was certainly a favorite, because I was going through a phase of cold, dark music. (Well, I had to have something to go along with my black candles, my bowls of incense, and my wonderful portraits of Ian Curtis! (That's not a lie, either.) I would simply put this record on between The Moon and the Melodies and The White Arcades, and I'd simply let my mind float into the coldest depths of sonic space. I don't know what happened, but the record simply disappeared from my collection, and, well, as one often does, I moved on. But listening to it again, a decade later, I remember why I loved it. It doesn't get me as cold as it used to; instead, it makes me feel warm and happy inside, as I think back to my younger days. Oh, and I love the song "December," in part because, well, it sounds a lot like Madonna's "Live to Tell!"
~ Joseph Kyle, Press Play Record

Pubblicato per la prima volta undici anni fa, e da tempo fuori stampa, torna disponibile il settimo album dei Lycia, l’oscura creatura guidata da Mike Van Portfleet. Per l’occasione, a dare una mano, c’erano giŕ David Galas e Tara Vanflower: č proprio l’alternaznza tra voce maschile e femminile a caratterizzare l’andatura del disco. Si rimane subito impietriti dai sette minuti di “Frozen”, un’onda scura che ricopre ogni cosa. Ma subito dopo, “Bare”, apre l’atmosfera su paesaggi che sanno di 4AD. Su “Baltica” un pianoforte accenna ad un’aria classicheggiante mentre la chitarra di Van Portfleet disegna mandala gotici. La voce della Vanflower č lo spettro che si aggira in queste ambientazioni crepuscolari. Nulla si č perso del pessimismo cosmico dei primi Lycia, ma la musica ha preso a ruotare ad un’altra velocitŕ, piů in armonia con le rotte ancestrali dei Dead Can Dance.
~ Roberto Mandolini, Losing Today

Si le groupe Lycia fait incontestablement partie de cette scčne abstract/goth-rock américaine qui a essaimé dans les années 90 autour de groupes comme Love Downwards Spiral et Faith And The Muse, l’album Cold que le label américain Silber republie en 2007, onze ans aprčs sa parution dans une version remastérisée, propose sans doute la version la plus dark de leur combinaison de pop ręveuse et éthérée et d’électro-rock mélancolique. Obsédante comme une bande-son de David Lynch, la musique de Lycia atteint sans doute sa pleine maturité sur ce disque, avec des morceaux comme "Colder", pop-song noisy isolée dans un brouillard ambient. A (re)découvrir.
~ Laurent Catala, Octopus

Non ci puň essere inverno senza Lycia
Con il passare degli anni un disco per essere o rimanere immortale deve trasmettere emozione. Magari non la medesima di un tempo, ma una forma di suggestione all’ascolto deve comunque rimanere viva. I Lycia – in questo - sono degli artisti unici, dei musicisti in grado di prenderti allo stomaco, di trascinarti in un inferno di ghiaccio con le loro note malate di fluida ed onirica melanconia.
A testimonianza di una discografia semplicemente grandiosa, “Cold” - forse - non č il miglior disco dei Lycia (per il sottoscritto lo č insieme a “Wake”) anche se č quello che ha ottenuto maggiori consensi. Ciň - perň -non ci impedisce di garantire a questo autentico gioiello, appartenente alla storia della musica gotica, di ricevere la meritata visibilitŕ perché, esattamente 10 anni dopo la sua originaria uscita per Projekt, “Cold” intrappola ancora l’ascoltatore in un disilluso ed avido vortice di emozioni.
Ristampato dalla Silber Records, che non bissa lo stupendo artwork del booklet cartonato della prima edizione, “Cold” viene semplicemente ri-masterizzato lasciando intatto il fascino di un disco capace di esaltare e fondere al meglio le distinte anime dei suoi straordinari interpreti: Mike VanPortfleet, Tara Van Flower e David Galas. I suoni glaciali, maniacali e distaccati estremizzano il titolo (quanto mai appropriato) del disco. La darkwave dei Lycia regala scenari invernali che si manifestano attraverso atmosfere rarefatte e voci sussurrate in grado di evocare disperazione e solitudine.
La musica č semplice, ma unica. La chitarra č tagliente come il vento gelido d’inverno, il basso scandisce il tempo con cui la neve rende piů sordi i suoni ed inghiotte tutto ciň che incontra (e fa sparire), la voce di Mike testimonia la resa, mentre quella di Tara appare il sussurro di un fantasma di una sirena catapultata ed intrappolata nei ghiacci dell’Ohio. Dopo 10 anni questo disco non mi ha ancora deluso, continua a stazionare nel mio stereo e a farmi compagnia durante la notte essendo un ottimo mezzo per esplorare in profonditŕ il proprio animo e lasciarsi trasportare dalla sua lentezza glaciale.
Brani come “Drifting” (ma tutti sono veramente grandiosi) sono talmente immensi che appare del tutto irrispettoso paragonarli ancora a "cose" dei Cocteau Twins e Cure. I Lycia sono i Lycia. Per fortuna!
~ Alessandro Lucentini, Kronic

Als recensent probeer ik platen altijd even de kans te geven. Voordat ik mijn altijd weldoordachte mening (ahem) toevertrouw aan de wereld speel ik een plaat meestal drie tot vier keer. Het is grappig om te zien hoe sommige platen groeien in meerdere luisterbeurten. In eerste instantie doet de muziek je weinig, maar met een paar keer luisteren begin je een plaat meer te waarderen (en misschien ook wel te begrijpen). Of niet natuurlijk. Andere platen blijven kleven. Als stroop.
Lycia's Cold is typisch een plaat waar het woord "stroop" op van toepassing is. De muziek blijft hangen en omhult je in een soort zachte cocon. Het woord stroperig is ook van toepassing op de muziek zelf. Of Lycia een grondlegger genoemd mag worden van het genre "shoegazer" weet ik niet. Feit is wel dat de band al sinds 1988 bezig is en vaak van samenstelling heeft gewisseld, meerdere keren is gestopt om daarna weer nieuw leven te zijn ingeblazen. Een tijd hebben ze op Sam Rosenthal's label Projekt gezeten, in 2003 zijn ze overgestapt op Silber Media die is begonnen hun platen opnieuw uit te geven, gere-mastered door frontman Mike VanPortfleet. "Cold" stamt dan ook origineel uit 1996.
Ik noemde dus al even de term shoegazer. Wie bekend is met het geluid van bands op labels als Projekt of 4AD (denk Black Tape For A Blue Girl of Cocteau Twins) weet ongeveer wel wat te verwachten. Noem het shoegazer, noem het darkwave of ethereal. Het is rustige, om niet te zeggen, lome, melancholische muziek, trage drums, wazige gitaar en etherische zang wat allemaal verzuipt in galm. De nummers zijn stuk voor stuk hypnotiserend en sterk en het album klinkt inderdaad koud. Ik vind het moeilijk er toppers uit te kiezen, maar als het dan moet, ik geniet heel erg van nummers als "Baltica" (waar ik invloeden van Dead Can Dance in meen te herkennen) en "Drifting". Echt een plaat om te spelen als je opgerold in een wollen trui in een stoel voor het raam zit te genieten van sneeuwstorm in het vale ochtendlicht. Een plaat om te beluisteren, te beluisteren en nog eens te beluisteren.
Songsoverruins
P.S. Ik ben altijd benieuwd geweest of je nu eigenlijk het verschil kunt horen tussen het origineel en een geremasterde versie. Ik heb toevallig het origineel en heb ze eens vergeleken op een goede koptelefoon. D'r is inderdaad een verschil te horen, het geluid klinkt wat voller en dieper (veel meer kan ik er als niet-audiofiel ook niet over zeggen, ben ik bang).
~ IkEcht

Silber records pokra?uje v pln?ní svých vlastních sn? další reedicí klasické desky projektu Lycia. Byl to práv? Mark Van Portfleet a spol., jež uvrtali vydavatele k podpo?e avydávání alternativní hudby. T?etí pohled nazp?t (po albech Estrella a The Burning Circle And Then Dust) p?ináší asi nejúsp?šn?jší album historie skupiny s mrazivým názvem Cold. Zádum?ivý model – melancholický mix Sisters Of Mercy a Cocteau Twins p?inesl do nem?nné kostry sestavené z pomalých až st?edn? rychlých naprogramovaných rytm?, basy, povlávající kytarové linky, maximáln? atmosférických kláves a zimom?ivého Mikeova hlasu zvýrazn?ný element éterického dív?ího zp?vu tehdejší snoubenky Tary Vanflower.
Kdoví, co se podepsalo na až hmatatelné uv??itelnosti soustavy devíti kompozic. Zda to bylo p?est?hování kapely z teplé Arizony do chladn?jšího Ohia, zhoršující se zdravotní stav p?edáka, jež donutil Lycii po vydání desky ukon?it aktivní p?sobnost na hudební scén?, ?i jen fakt, že po letech experimentování všechny kole?ka soukolí kone?n? pevn? do sebe zapadla. Je pravdou, že dodnes tato deska vyvolává mrazení v zádech a právem jí vybrané ankety staví na p?ední místa americké darkwave historie.
~ Pavel Zelinka, Freemusic.cz

Facile a dirsi, un pň meno a concretizzarsi. Cosa? Realizzare un disco dark-wave nel 1996 senza risultare obsoleti e stanchi. Lycia ci hanno provato con un discreto successo. Hanno preso le dimensioni artistiche dei Joy Division e dei Cure e le hanno drogate con una semplice aspirina. Il risultato č molto piů semplice ed indolore di quanto si potrebbe pensare. "Cold" (ristampato da poco) č un cd "freddo", che spazia lento tra nove tracce oblique e spoglie. La figura canzone manca del tutto di angoli non retti. Ma la cosa non pare proprio interessare alla band statunitense, in quanto porta avanti (senza paura) il suo credo musicale. Ben vengano dunque. Senza pietŕ alcuna.
~ Claudio Baroni, Musica Popolare