Cobolt 60
The Grim Defiance

A decade after the metal world saw/heard their debut full-length Meat Hook Ballet, Cobolt 60 is finally back with their follow-up. Comprised of duo Mr. Hustler (ex-Blood Red Throne, ex-Trioxin) on drums/vocals and Dǿd (Scariot, Blood Red Throne) on guitar/bass, Cobolt 60 have taken what they created in 2002 and revamped their approach, arrangements and production on The Grim Defiance.

Cobolt 60 plays a brash, quasi-thrashy style of black metal, though many of their song structures and overall feel are similar to old school death metal. The eight songs on the long-player seem to come and go a bit too quickly, but that’s because they are concise and terse in feel, though the songs average about 4:30 in length.

The production is polished enough to where all the instruments are heard cleanly yet it’s still grimy enough that the rawness and hostility of the instruments has been retained. Cobolt 60 switches back and forth from slower, heavier chunks of death-like black metal and ravenous, chaotic speed; the passages have enough unique personality to them where they don’t become jumbled together in an incoherent mess. Though the Norwegian duo possesses no shortage of barbarity with their blasphemy, they have added plenty of melodies and natural atmosphere throughout the album, something not ever band can muster.

The title track explodes out of the speakers to kick-start the album and it never relents. “Hammer the Creationist” is the first truly remarkable song of the bunch, but Cobolt 60 doesn’t hit their keystone until “Radiant Animosity Towards the Flesh.” Clearly the best of the collection, the song ebbs and flows between slow and fast, vicious and melodic, and the song’s zenith is the final minute. However, it’s a bit perplexing that Hustler and Dǿd didn’t opt to close The Grim Defiance with this because of its fading outtro and somewhat ethereal final seconds. Nevertheless, it’s still a monster of a song whether it’s in the beginning, middle or end.

Is The Grim Defiance one of the most original albums on the market today and is it one of the best of 2012? He answer is “no” to both questions. Then again, it’s quite difficult to find entire albums rife with 100% fresh ideas in this and age anyway. But in terms of it being one of the best of the year, that’s all a matter of taste. It won’t make this scribe’s top ten year-end list, but it is a solid release any way one cuts it. It’s better than the overwhelming majority of metal releases of the past few years and it’s definitely worth scooping up because it’s diverse enough for all metalheads the world over. Get this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
October 18th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: jennyjones

    They did also go industrial for awhile after the first full length….


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