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Cobalt Blue - Stop Momentum CD (album) cover


Cobalt Blue

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars It took about five years to receive a new sign of life from this exceptional band, which is originating in Florianopolis, Brazil. In 2012 COBALT BLUE recorded their debut EP, already highly esteemed, when it comes to my impression, at that time as a trio. Now the core seems to be reduced to drummer Felipe Canan and multi-instrumentalist Julio H. Miotto (guitars, bass, keys, vocals), both practically responsible for concept, design and production. Nevertheless, as usual most likely, the recording crew for 'Stop Momentum' shows up with a bunch of additional collaborators on diverse instruments. And when playing live finally the band is always going to extend to a quintet, for good reason.

They definitely have expanded their musical and compositional profile within those years. Hence the new album shows some ambitious song writing and tricky execution. For example, conceived by Miotto, the opener At Due Gesture appears dealing with dementia respectively Alzheimer's disease. It all leads into a speech based on a dialogue between Doctor Alois Alzheimer and Auguste Deter, who later will insist 'Ich habe mich sozusagen verloren - I somewhat lost myself'. It is said, she became his first patient where he clearly diagnosed the given problems as an evident disease. A rather courageous move at that time, as this took place at the turn of the century from 1800 to 1900.

How about the song title by the way? It's just an anagram, deriving from the name Auguste Deter! Awesome, isn't it? Musically put into practice this issue starts in a cheerful optimistic mood including agile bass, playful electric piano and synths. Everything seems to be on the right track so far. After some time though they are running into a rather whacked out respectively even delirious downfall, like losing control, accompanied by the aforementioned dialogue. Hey, according to the story I find this a convincing implementation, not less than a masterpiece of art in its entirety! And there is so much more to detect here.

Miotto's treble voice and singing behaviour sometimes comes close to Omar Rodríguez-López, just taking the powerful aggressive Catalyst as a suitable exemplar, crowned by some saxophone and guitar duel beauty. Compared to this heavy psych outfit in general, the nice polyphonic vocal drenched Drops n' Doors is completely contrasting somehow. Dweller Of The Sevenfold then can be nailed as another album masterpiece with reason. Twists and turns en masse, this gem definitely needs your full concentration. Circadian Clock at the latest reveals Miotto as a real guitar wizzard.

Furthermore, besides the well-regarded drum playing offered by Canan, there is also a lively expressive bass guitar to state over the course, mostly contributed by Miotto again. 'Stop Momentum' is a really multi-faceted progressive heavy rock album, certainly recommended to fans of The Mars Volta either way, though clearly featuring more psychedelic essence overall. Will I ever have the chance to see them live on the stage? Regarding the lush and untamed studio sound this surely will need at least five chaps to bring over the approach in a proper way. There are some videos available anyhow which will serve a clue. No matter what, you shouldn't miss this album!

Report this review (#1719436)
Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Very cool psych from Brazil!

I'd like to thank Felipe Canan for contacting me and inviting to discover Cobalt Blue's realm, which in this 2017 has expanded with the release of "Stop Momentum", their first full-length record after their 2012 EP. This new album comprises a very interesting blend of genres in which we will have a nice journey through rock, jazz and mostly, psychedelic music. It features 9 songs and a total time of 43 minutes.

It opens with "At Due Gesture" whose first two minutes are soft but later it turns more interesting with a wonderful use of keyboards, a remarkable bass, great drums and of course those wonderful guitars. Lyrics are in English, so it is easier to the world to understand what the singer says. This song is actually the longest of the album, an ambitious track divided in parts that shows changing passages and moods. It has an enigmatic space passage that can be both relaxing but tense. It suddenly fades out and seconds later, drums appear so we are already listening to "Bereaved" whose sound might take us to some old stoner times. The track is great, very well composed and with all the instruments adding their grain of sand at the perfect time. I loooove the bass lines here, in fact, I think I totally love this track. Wonderful stoner/psych/space track!

"Cataclysm" is another great track, but this one has the amazing addition of a brass section. I don't tend to compare, but just for reference, the sound of the voice and of this song in general reminds me a bit of Thank You Scientist. The singer is great; he can reach high notes and produce some loony tunes. Yet another wonderful song! The shortest one is "Drops N'Doors", a two-minute track with only vocals that leads to "Catalyst", which is a heavy pscych rock tune that will make you move your head and feel its power. After 3 minutes the addition of a lunatic saxophone makes it even better, putting on it a jazzy feeling but preserving that psych essence. Top notch!

"All We Have Are Oscillations" is another short track with an enigmatic sound made by repetitive guitars. After a minute those guitars changes and produce nervous sounds that create a dark background. Then "Dweller of the Sevenfold" appears and (if there was any doubt) confirms this album is not just another of the bunch, it is a wonderful one. This sole song could take us to a huge trip with a feast of jazz and psychedelic rock of the 21st Century at its best!

"Circadian Clock" is a softer composition but it still has that heavy psych vibe somehow and also shows a nervous guitar sound that will keep you interested and satisfied. The album finishes with "Luciferase" in which bass and drums create a wonderful base that is greatly complemented by the voice and guitars. It is a very cool way to finish a wonderful album.

Congrats to the band and thank you once again for introducingme to your music. This is a very solid album and deserves at least 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#1774442)
Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars COBALT BLUE are basically a duo out of Brazil who are very much influenced by PINK FLOYD, KING CRIMSON and THE MARS VOLTA. I feel like I didn't do my homework with this album as the psychedelia content is sparse on here but the heavy insanity like THE MARS VOLTA is here in spades. Not many bands could do what THE MARS VOLTA do and make it work in my opinion including these guys. We get up to 10 guests adding trumpets, saxes, bass, guitar, Hammond, percussion and backing vocals. The biggest turn-off for me are the vocals that sound like they are from the 90's the way he shouts the lyrics, not singing but speaking or shouting. Man this made me want to put this aside until much later down the road but I decided to persevere.

The best song by far is the "At Due Gesture" where we get none of the vocal style I just described in this almost 9 minute opener. Keys to start but soon drums and a fuller sound arrive. Nice bass here and it's actually kind of jazzy as brief male vocals join in around 1 1/2 minutes. The organ and guitar will both come and go then the vocals return before 3 minutes. The sound is building until after 4 minutes but then it turns experimental. Soon we're hearing spoken male and female voices followed by atmosphere and guitar expressions. More vocals at 7 1/2 minutes and this is the only song I'd call psychedelic other than maybe "All We Have Are Oscillations".

"Bereaved" opens and closes with drums only. In between we get some aggressive guitar then the organ lights it up. We get a prolonged powerful instrumental section until 3 minutes in. "Cataclysm" is powerful from the start and here we get lots of loud shouting. Just not into this. He will eventually be whispering, speaking and screaming. A tough listen.

"Drops N' Doors" is just over 2 minutes of dual vocals only throughout. "Catalyst" is a heavy track with vocals. Some guest sax and guitar on this one. "All We Have Are Oscillations" is another favourite after the opener. Dissonant horns, atmosphere and experimental sounds. The guitar starts to rise out of this playing a melody before it becomes aggressive. Samples end it.

"Dweller Of The Sevenfold" opens with guitars as drums and bass join in, organ as well. The wild vocals turn me off once again as he starts to yell. I do like when they slow it down and it becomes experimental starting around 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar starts to solo after 5 1/2 minutes then it kicks in with some power. Tempo shifts continue.

"Circadian Clock" has a lighter start with some really nice bass as the vocals join in. Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in as the vocals step aside. A calm before 3 1/2 minutes but it's very brief as the vocals shout and scream and the sound becomes powerful. "Luciferase" will be lit up by the guitar fairly quickly before female vocals join in as the guitar stops. These contrasts continue. Love the bass.

This just goes counter to my tastes in music unfortunately but if you like heavier music with aggressive vocals and a touch of psychedelia you might just love this album. 3 stars.

Report this review (#1846729)
Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2017 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars What a band...this album remained in my hard drive for about two years before I listened to it, and now I know what I have missed. Let's start saying that even if the psychedelic element is undoubtely present, to me this sounds like a hard rock album coming from the 70s, including the acapella choir of "Drop 'n Doors" which is everything but hard, but all the hard rock bands before the genre turned into heavy metal, and even after, have songs of this kind in their best albums.

So it's heavy, full of rock, with a fantastic guitar which is what is noticed immediately, but the other instrumentists are equally good. This band is technically very skilled. The fact that's not a 70s band emerges sometimes when I can find similarities with RIVERSIDE. On the other side the guitar riff of "Dweller of the Sevenfold" can recall LED ZEPPELIN, DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH and their likes. It also contains a very psychedelic part in the middle thanks to the guest sax and the vocals which go from speech to scream before the guitar restarts the riff.

The album is very consistent. There are no flaws and even when you land on a track that's diffrent from the others, like the psychedelic "All We Have is Oscillators" it appears perfectly placed.

I won't bother the readers with other descriptions. Just let me say that this is one of the best "new" albums I've listened to this year. I mean "new" for me as it has been released in 2017 and having listened to it only now is my fault only.

Strongly suggested.

Report this review (#2262068)
Posted Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | Review Permalink

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