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COBALT

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Cobalt biography
The underground black metal scene is usually not known for producing bands with progressive qualities, however, Colorado's Cobalt have shown that it is possible to fuse dark, furious black metal with discordant progressive elements to create truly dark and mysterious atmosphere.

Formed in 2002 by Erik Wunder and Phillip McSorley, Cobalt seek to create truly epic and mysterious soundscapes that seemingly defy categorisation. Following their 2005 debut album, 'War Metal', Cobalt had developed a small but rabid following among both black metal, and avant-metal fans for their unique style and crushing mix of black metal, thrash, progressive metal and ambient. 2007 saw the release of the band's epic second album 'Eater of Birds'. Combining epic typical black metal fury, with post-metal-esque grooves, pulsing waves of darkness and an eclectic mash of ritual like rhythms, Cobalt is able to create a truly unique and interesting sound. Cobalt's third crushing album, 'Gin' was released in 2009 and further develops the avant-metal characteristics the band had experimented with previously. Combining the brutal atmosphere of black metal, with more progressive flourishes means that Cobalt have established themselves as one of the most interesting, but sonically challenging bands around today. Cobalt have also released two EP's, 'Hammerfight' ? released prior to their debut album in 2002, and 2008's 'Landfill Breastmilk Beast'.

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Slow ForeverSlow Forever
Profound Lore 2016
Audio CD$8.70
$10.50 (used)
War MetalWar Metal
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$8.70
$10.59 (used)
GinGin
Profound Lore 2009
Audio CD$88.28
$79.99 (used)
Landfill Breastmilk BeastLandfill Breastmilk Beast
EP
PROFOUND LORE 2008
Audio CD$8.87
$7.49 (used)
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COBALT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

COBALT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
War Metal
2005
3.21 | 5 ratings
Eater of Birds
2007
3.56 | 5 ratings
Gin
2009

COBALT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COBALT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COBALT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COBALT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Hammerfight
2003
2.00 | 1 ratings
Landfill Breastmilk Beast
2008

COBALT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hammerfight by COBALT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2003
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Hammerfight
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars "Hammerfight" is an EP release (and the debut release) by US black metal act Cobalt. The EP was originally self-released in 2002 but was re-released by Pestifer Records in May 2003. On this release Cobalt is a two-piece act consisting of Erik Wunder who handles drums, vocals, bass and guitar and Phil McSorley who handles vocals and guitar.

The music on the 4 track, 21:48 minutes long EP is raw and quite noisy lo-fi produced black metal. The musicanship is pretty good and especially the predominantly blasting drums are really well played. Weīre talking a really, really raw release here which is best examplified by the extremely distorted and aggressive raspy vocals. Itīs so and so with the innovation and the quality of the songwriting but fans of really extreme black metal should have a blast with this.

"Hammerfight" is quite different sounding compared to the later more post-metal infuced black metal releases by Cobalt and itīs different when it comes to the quality of the release too compared to later releases. The lo-fi sound quality and rehearsal room atmosphere of the release are not assets which make "Hammerfight" a great release. Some black metal releases can get away with underproduced productions, and some even prosper from such a production, but "Hammerfight" just sounds a bit amaturish. Itīs distorted and noisy, and the material a bit too monotone too. A 2 star (40%) rating is warranted.

 Gin by COBALT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.56 | 5 ratings

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Gin
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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.

 Gin by COBALT album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.56 | 5 ratings

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Gin
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Gin" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, Colorado based post black metal act Cobalt. "Gin" was released through Profound Lore Records in March 2009. The preceeding studio album "Eater of Birds (2007)" showed great promise and although the 2008 "Landfill Breastmilk Beast" EP left me rather disappointed (as a consequence of the inclusion of a nearly 30 minutes long ambient track), Iīve still been waiting for the release of "Gin" with great expectations.

The music on "Gin" fortunately continues down the post black metal path of "Eater of Birds" and develops that style further. There are still loads of raw black metal parts and caustic raspy vocals on the album but the post metal elements that were already a part of the soundscape on "Eater of Birds" have become even more prominent on "Gin". A track like "Dry Body" fully embraces post metal. It contains chanting vocals and tribal drumming. There are many great features on this album like the high compositional quality and excellent sounding production, but the thing the impress me the most about "Gin" is actually the drumming by Erik Wunder. He is such a skilled drummer and his busy drumming keeps the tracks exciting throughout. Cobalt is a two-piece act so in addition to handling the drumming in superior style Erik Wunder also handles vocals, bass and guitar. His companion Phil McSorley handles vocals and guitar. Jarboe (Swans) guests on a couple of tracks too.

So all in all "Gin" is another great post black metal release by Cobalt but like the case was with "Eater of Birds (2007)" I still donīt think "Gin" deserves a full 4 star (80%) rating. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating will do for now. No matter what the rating is "Gin" is a great album and the combination of post metal and black metal works really well for the band and provides them with a unique sound.

 Landfill Breastmilk Beast by COBALT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Landfill Breastmilk Beast
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
2 stars "Landfill Breastmilk Beast" is an EP release by US post black metal act Cobalt. The EP was released through Profound Lore Records in June 2008.

The EP consists of three tracks and features a total playing time of 44 minutes. The first two tracks "Stomach" and "Extinction" are in the post black metal style of the bandīs last album "Eater of Birds (2007)" while the last track, the 29:31 minutes long "Ritual Use of Fire" is a long ambient sound experimental piece. The latter was recorded solely by vocalist/ guitarist Phil McSorley. While the two first tracks are very enjoyable, aggressive and well composed, "Ritual Use of Fire" is overall of a slightly more questionable quality. Almost 30 minutes of ambient experimental sounds, is about 25 minutes too long. Itīs of course an aquired taste if music like this is something youīll be able to appreciate, but just be aware that you shouldnīt expect anything remotely metal oriented for 30 out of the 44 minutes this EP lasts. The "Ritual Use of Fire" concept was also used on "Eater of Birds (2007)" albeit in much smaller doses and on that album used as effective breathers between the harsh black metal tracks.

The sound production is professional and powerful, and suits the music well. Upon conclusion "Landfill Breastmilk Beast" started out as a 3.5 star (70%) release but after listening to "Ritual Use of Fire" my rating has dropped to a 2 star (40%) rating. Maybe other listeners can enjoy this piece of ambient sound experimentation, but honestly I call it a bad excuse for not having enough proper material to put on the EP. It could have been so good but ended up a disappointment.

 Eater of Birds by COBALT album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Eater of Birds
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 War Metal by COBALT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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War Metal
Cobalt Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars "War Metal" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Greeley, Colorado based black metal act Cobalt. The album was released through From Beyond Productions in April 2005. "War Metal" was already recorded in May 2003 at Hellion Studio though. Cobalt is a two-piece act consisting of Erik Wunder on Drums, Vocals, Bass and Guitar and Phil McSorley on Vocals and Guitar.

The music on "War Metal" is pretty straight forward black metal with blasting drums, raspy vocals, and distorted guitars. There are lots of more traditional heavy metal elements on the album too though and itīs especially when the pace is slowed down a bit that some groove and melody appear. The musicianship on the album is excellent. Iīm especially fond of the drumming on the album which is tight and furiously fast played. The songwriting and the riffs are of a pretty standard quality though and I could have wished for a more innovative or original songwriting approach. The production is not your typical thin high end black metal sound. The sound is fat, full, and pretty brutal and thatīs something that might appeal to death metal fans rather than black metal ditto. A very successful sound production, which suits the music well.

While thereīs certainly room for improvement, "War Metal" is a pretty enjoyable black metal release by Cobalt and Iīd say a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Thanks to Any Colour You Like for the artist addition.

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