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Cobalt - Eater of Birds CD (album) cover



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3 stars "Eater of Birds" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US post black metal act Cobalt. The album was released through Profound Lore Records in July 2007. There is also a 2xLP version available which was released through Garden of Exile and which is limited to 500 copies (both black and yellow coloured versions). The bandīs debut album "War Metal (2005)" was a professionally produced black metal album with classic heavy metal leanings. A decent release although it seldom reaches excellence. "Eater of Birds" is a vastly different sounding album which introduces new elements to Cobaltīs sound.

Stylistically the music on the album is post black metal. A term that could mean many things but hereīs a description. The basis of the music is simple old school black metal. Raspy vocals (low in the mix), blasting drums, and a level of aggression and cold atmosphere that not many other genres can rival. Add to that some mid-paced traditional heavy metal riffs (which are much fewer and far between than on "War Metal") and then the new element in Cobaltīs sound which is the addition of post metal elements. The latter style really makes the music on "Eater of Birds" stand out as something special and itīs those elements which make this release more intriguing than "War Metal". The sheer aggression of the black metal parts are enjoyable too but the combination of the stylistic elements of that genre with the repetitive and at times almost tribal-like post metal parts is a success.

The album is very long though and at 70 minutes itīs also too long. Cobalt could easily have cut a few tracks which would have made the album more accessible. Itīs the kind of album that takes a while to digest. There are fortunately some tracks on the album that help give the listener breathing space between the harsh and aggressive "main" tracks. The three "Ritual Use of Fire" tracks which are spread out on the album are great atmospheric pieces and "Androids, Automatons and Nihilists" also works as a nice breather.

The musicianship is excellent. Cobalt is a two-piece act consisting of Erik Wunder on drums, vocals, bass, and guitar and Phil McSorley on vocals and guitar. So the instrumentation on the album is very raw and basic. While there are no virtuoso parts being played on the album Erik Wunder and Phil McSorley are certainly capable musicians anyway. Thereīs an intense conviction in the things that are played that is admirable.

The sound production is powerful. But itīs a harsh sound that I find hard to endure for 70 minutes straight. Itīs a matter of aquired taste though as there is nothing wrong with the quality of the production. Upon conclusion Iīm a bit biased towards "Eater of Birds" because on one hand I find the album greatly enjoyable but on the other hand there are some flaws that mean itīs not excellent throughout the full 70 minutes of playing time. So my rating ends on a 3.5 star (70%) rating. Cobaltīs development in style is really promising though and I find "Eater of Birds" a recommendable purchase.

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Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 | Review Permalink

COBALT Eater of Birds ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only
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  • 4 stars Gordy (El Gringo del Mundo) SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Folk/Eclectic/PSIKE/Metal/Post/Math Team

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