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Cobalt - Gin CD (album) cover

GIN

Cobalt

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.54 | 8 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Gin' - Cobalt (6/10)

Ever wonder what Tool would sound like if they were black metal? No? Me neither, but in any case, Colorado black metal duo Cobalt appears to answer that question for us. A band that has received quite a bit of fanfare within the metal underground, I discovered Cobalt through their record label Profound Lore; a company that has hosted some of my favourite contemporary metal acts. There is no denying that the band has received some huge acclaim for their so-called unique sound in black metal, but after having experienced their third album 'Gin', I find myself somewhat disappointed. Although a good album by all accounts, it has not been such a revelation of extreme metal as it was made out to be.

Although certainly rooted first and foremost within the realm of black metal, there is more in 'Gin' going on than mere tremolo picking and blastbeats. Instead, black metal is only the foundation, and here is where I can see why Cobalt may have received the accolades it did for the record. Although not a unique sound for metal necessarily, it does do something special for black metal in particular, resting on some meeting point of black, sludge, and groove metal. The end result is something that sounds very much like Tool, so if you are into that band and the rawer variety of black metal, Cobalt will be a gold mine.

Most of the songs feature typical black metal rasps, as well as sludgy riffs and some excellent drumwork from Erik Wunder. The duo does get the concept of a groove down well, but once again, things do sound a little too deja-vu regarding the Tool comparison. The greatest tracks here may be the first two, of which the second 'Dry Body' seeks to completely absolve the black leanings for a track that one wouldn't find out of place on an Isis album. At over an hour in length, these same tricks that Cobalt keep pulling out throughout the course of the record can wear tiresome, but the atmosphere and sludgy goodness is always kept in check.

A good album, although I do not believe that it is a record that is quite as original or spectacular as the hype made it out to be.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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