Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Black Cobra - Invernal

By Natalie Zina Walschots. Invernal is the second full-length San Francisco, CA-based doom sludge duo Black Cobra have released with Southern Lord. The album was recorded with Kurt Ballou at God City Studio in Salem, MA, and the end result is a noisome, toothsome beast
By Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Artwork by Sam Ford

Invernal is the second full-length San Francisco, CA-based doom sludge duo Black Cobra have released with Southern Lord. The album was recorded with Kurt Ballou at God City Studio in Salem, MA, and the end result is a noisome, toothsome beast. Whereas some aggressive music is mechanical, like a demolition derby, Invernal is distinctly muscular. The sound evokes the aggression of gladiators battling, the threat of meat rather than metal.

Black Cobra 2012. Photo by François Carl Duguay.

While the composition is layered, complex and even chaotic, it is always highlighted beautifully. One element of the din is picked out more clearly, like a picture with one plane of depth in focus and the rest left to blur. This shifts over the course of each song. For example, the focus and clarity leap from the rough, throbbing bass riffs to the sparkle of the crash cymbals and back again in "Corrosion Fields."

Black Cobra 2012. Photo by François Carl Duguay.

Another element that sets Invernal apart is its aural temperature. Much of sludge is associated with heat: liquid tar, bubbling pitch. Black Cobra have made something cold. The sound is thick and gelid, in the way that some liquids increase in viscosity before they freeze. Invernal is hypothermic, the only warmth drawn from vibrating guitar strings and body heat.



Note: This year Black Cobra released a new album Imperium Simulacra on Season of Mist, in September they will touring Europe with Yob.

Tagged with 2011, Black Cobra, doom metal, François Carl Duguay, Natalie Zina Walschots, sludge metal, Southern Lord Recordings
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