Originally written by Erik Thomas
In a concerted effort to bring the “metal” back to MetalReview (according to you, the readers), I give you Cobalt, just what you all need to recover from the System of a Down and Nine Inch Nails reviews.
Hailing from the frosty war torn depths of Greeley Colorado, this two man outfit aptly titled debut album is a raw dose of blackened extremity that despite its primal roots, manages to include some surprisingly rousing “War Metal” moments. Aeturnus comes to mind along with the more expected underground US influences like Sargeist, Throneaon, Usurper and the expected Scandinavian flocking.
Amid the typical seething storm of blast beats and maniacal screams,Cobalt manage to inject some vastly satisfying moments of rousing, Germanic, Romanic hymnals of stirring…well, War Metal. “Angelfangs” (FYI-I am copywriting “Angelfangs” as the name of my band-goddamn that’s cool), being one of the most impressive and blood pumping. “Raise the Hammer of War” also results in clenched fist anger, but it’s buried in some fairly rudimentary blasting. That’s typically the M.O of this album; solid black metal acidity broken up by some heaven storming anthems of war. “World on its Knees” is surprisingly structured and mid paced compared to the rest of the album while “Summoning Of Napalm Mists” (yet another cool song title) comes on like a Byzantine cavalry charge.
For the style of album, the production is acceptable, but is still squarely in the primal black metal sound; it has just enough girth to carry the more lumbering marching moments. Actually, my main gripe is with the musicianship of Erik Wunder (drums, vocals) and Phil McSorley (vocals, guitars) as in lieu of the riffage, are pretty sloppy, especially Wunder’s drums, but taken within the context of the genre and its “raw” requirements is only an issue for finicky review purposes. On the whole, an album like this just needs to be listened to while dressed in chain mail and clad in spikes riding into battle, not on headphones dissecting the finite issues of the delivery. Bombastic eight minute closer “Empire of the Moth” seals the deal with a typically stoic yet battle ending atmosphere with some austere acoustics that show the band can deliver something more than vitriolic black metal.
War Metal isn’t an album I will revisit frequently, as I am an admitted production whore, but when I’m in the mood for some scathing, grimace inducing, banners in the winds of war metal, this will be what I throw in.