Cobalt
Slow Forever

After a relatively uninspiring start with 2005s War Metal, Colorado’s Cobalt upped their game and became one of the darlings in the USBM genre with 2007s Eater of Birds and 2009s Gin, as good of a duo of releases that any USBM band had or has released. Both blurred lines of what black metal could and can be and offered up a experimental and uniquely American take on the sound.

Well, the 7 years since Gin apparently saw some internal strife between the duo of Phil McSorley and Erik Wunder, resulting in McSorley’s exit from the band and Charlie Fell ( Avichi, Lord Mantis) ) taking over vocals and Wunder continuing all the other instruments, though you’d be hard pressed to notice, even if Fell delivers a slightly more unhinged and feral performance.

But for the most part, Slow Forever, a 2 CD, 83 minute  monster, continues where Gin left off. That’s to say its black metal, but black metal that really stretches the genre boundaries with experimental parts, Blues, Americana, folk, and Old west and Hemingway influence and on this release a more streamlined, almost grunge/rock vibe. Some of these riffs, could be from any Soundgarden  or Tool release and overall the vibe I get reminds me of what Libeerteer did with grindcore in making it distinctly American  and folky, but still sneering and seething.

That said, the album is for the most part, a paranoid, drug fueled slow burn, having a fairly consistent, patient and deliberate mid paced stroll throughout that never seems to get out of 2nd gear. It’s not as psychedelic as Nachtmystium’s  Addicts/Assassins releases, but 5 of the 7  tracks on CD 1, (the longest of the two) “Hunt the Buffalo”,  “Ruiner”, thunderous stand out “Beast Whip”, patiently brooding, 11 minute beast “King Rust”  and “Cold Breaker” are almost one long track in their stoic but steady pace and delivery, even with “Animal Law” and  “Breath” breaking things up with more tribal ambiance.. That said, the steady, rocking churn of the songs does have a certain hypnotic allure and sway that matches the intimate and personal catharsis the album and Fell are offering up.

That said, CD 2 seems to pick up the pace a little, starting with “Elephant Graveyard”, a rollicking punky, Motorhead/Darkthrone-y based, grooving number that minus Fell’s pained screams, could be a commercial radio rock number. “Final Will”, another 11 minute behemoth is initially the only track that comes truly close to being more traditional black metal, but it’s short lived as it and “Slow Forever” delve back into the more controlled, feverish, slow burn of CD 1.

The whole album, both CDs, should be taken in as a whole, other than maybe “Elephant Graveyard” and more direct loping closer “Siege”, the tracks blend together into one loooooong acid driven journey. Its warm but sharp production is perfect for the music and while Slow Forever is certainly a dedicated listen, its incredibly rewarding once you put the time in, and puts Cobalt back on the USBM map.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 10th, 2016

Comments

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. Your post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and maybe held up for further approval. We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Sutrah - Aletheia EP
  • Oni - Alone EP
  • Scissorfight - Doomus Abruptus, Vol. 1
  • Viogression - Perception Blur
  • Ad Vitam Infernal - Infernal Comedy
  • Fluisteraars - Bloem
  • Cianide - Unhumanized EP
  • Abhomine - Proselyte Parasite Plague
  • Porta Nigra - Schöpfungswut
  • Abigail WIlliams - Walk Beyond the Dark
  • Suicide Silence - Become the Hunter
  • Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic
  • Hell:On/Pripjat - A Glimpse Beyond (Split)
  • Silvertomb - Edge of Existence
  • Necropanther - The Doomed City