Black Cobra


Southern Lord 2009

Southern Cal's burly, doom-sludge monster, Black Cobra returns for their second bout of sludge pummeling.  From the album's outset, Negative Reversal batters your senses with thick, doomy riffing, slightly sped up for maximum damage.  Machine is a flat track that sort of feels like a slow-motion loop of gut punches but really doesn't lead me anywhere.  The psychedelic, washed out wall of guitar that precedes a dense forest of tar-soaked riffs on Catalyst purposefully buries you before the plodding mammoth of a main riff ends your misery by trampling you beneath its weight.  After that a quickly clacking set of guitars steams forward, the musical equivalent of a locomotive speeding past the listener on swollen train tracks.  By far the most captivating and catchiest song on the album is Chronosphere which sounds like a smoked out bastard son of Slayer and Ministry after being raped by a Melvins groove.  As a matter of fact, even though somewhat strange and out of place, I hear a Ministry streak running through most of the tracks here despite there not being a shred of industrial to be found.  Lightning in His Hand purrs like a biker revving a Harley Davidson, building in intensity and then letting off the power only to ratchet it back up.  Storm Shadow on the other hand is a speedy thrash assault that cuts like a rusty razor.  The stumbling clean guitar of Nefarian Triangle is only a moments respite before another meaty riff obliterates your face.  The song however has a controlled and almost dream like quality to it despite its gargantuan weight.  Black Cobra, though doomy in some respects seems to exhale post-hardcore sensibilities and attitude.  Chronomega is a little more streamlined and one-dimensional than Feather and Stone but that only serves to focus the album's ferociousness.   Though battered and bruised, I feel that Chronomega doesn't quite have the same force of impact as Feather and Stone.