Release DetailsLABEL Profound Lore Records
RELEASED ON 3/25/2016
Erik Wunder’s goal with Cobalt is to rally the listener into living a life that matters.
Slow Foreverposted on 4/2016 By:
Much hay has been made about Phillip McSorley. An equal amount of hay has been made about Charlie Fell. I don’t really give a shit. More hay has been made about whether Cobalt is the new darling of the hipsters. I don’t really give a shit about that, either.
Since the release of Gin in 2009, if not earlier, Cobalt is masculine in a way that eludes most. Slow Forever is visceral; humanity as the ultimate apex predator on the planet, for better or worse. Species dominance seems to be the theme present in song titles such as “Hunt The Buffalo”, “Elephant Graveyard”, and “Beast Whip”, (in part, I’m basing my conclusions upon the Hemingway emphasis of Gin, rather than upon the actual lyrics, which I’m not privy to). Through such dominance, Erik Wunder’s goal with Cobalt is to rally the listener into living a life that matters, one that has an impact, even if it’s one of moral ambiguity.
Wunder succeeds in driving his intent home with monumental songs built around riffs, a varying pace, and an organic production that sounds menacing. However, the songs and the musicianship are clean, clean enough to the point that you’d be hard pressed to label Cobalt as black metal; at least, on the surface. But dig deeper. Fell’s vocals are a bit different than McSorley’s, being higher pitched and with a louder rasp. Fell belts out his delivery with such force and conviction that you’re given the impression that he’s Wunder's kindred soul.
The fit is perfect; there’s a sense of desperation surrounding Fell that not only speaks of his own climb from the bottomless pit of drug addiction, but to rally around Wunder’s cause and live a life that matters. By the time you've hit the title track at the end (or, the well placed bonus track that follows), you’re under the impression that you’ve witnessed a journey; one for the songwriters to musically and lyrically present their themes, and of the struggle to get it released.
In the wrong hands, Slow Forever wouldn’t resonate; instead, accusations of heavy handedness, at best, and of pretentiousness (amidst snorts of derision), at worst, would emerge. Such criticisms might be justified, anyway, as would calls to ostracize Cobalt due to Fell’s controversies and McSorley’s lingering influence. Hell, they might even be justified just because Slow Forever approaches an hour and a half in length.
I’m probably reading too much into this. But, rather than continue to twist myself into knots, I’ll just say this: Slow Forever is probably going to be 2016’s most polarizing release. And it will be one of its best.