Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Best of 2007 - #7

7. cobalt - 'eater of birds'
[review published on issue #161 of Terrorizer magazine]
This album will surely get a lot of attention of some circles from which it probably wouldn’t otherwise, because of the presence of Jarboe’s unrivalled, haunting vocals on two of the songs. While this seems a bit unfair, because her contribution, while excellent in creating some chilly moods in those songs, really isn’t all that meaningful to the outcome of the album, it’s actually a good thing. Because most of those people will really want to hang out a while with ‘Eater Of Birds’ once they taste their initial morsel of it. The straightforward violence of their debut ‘War Metal’ has been considerably twisted into something much darker in the two years that have passed since its release. Not that it’s any less violent, on the contrary – the songs on ‘Eater Of Birds’ positively drip with black bile, a thick miasma surrounding them in a way akin to early Anaal Nathrakh. Nevertheless, the Colorado duo have discovered the power of atmosphere, which is interesting since they are on the label that has issued some of the most impressively atmospheric records in recent memory, like Alcest, Caïna, Nadja or Nachtmystium to cite but a few. Of all those, Cobalt are, however, the most bruising ones by far. With some dirty Doomriders-gone-black-metal grooves contrasting heavily with the harrowing late Swans-like passages. ‘Eater Of Birds’ is also infused with a strong tribal feeling (don’t think Sepultura, think ‘Through Silver In Blood’) that is the last step in this solid, merciless beating. The concept of the album is apparently about the return to the primitive aspects of man, and most of the music here fits that notion with great aplomb. There is something indeed animalistic about these eleven songs, something that is particularly highlighted by these dynamic contrasts of the songwriting. One of the two Cobalt members is away for Army duty right now, but believe me, it’ll be worthy waiting for him to return to hear this stuff live.

Cobalt - 'Invincible Sun'

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