I can be counted as one of the (seemingly) many who weren’t aware of Cobalt until the material supporting Gin hit the web and the metal magazines of the world. Eric Wunder and Phil McSorley are two guys with very interesting points of view and dynamic thoughts on life in general, and the press got me interested enough to purchase Eater of Birds, which I found to be a unique and compelling manifestation of metal.
Gin, in that vein, is a pummeling album that cannot be divided into anything less than its full sum; I can’t imagine listening to one or two individual tracks. It would be incorrect to define Cobalt’s sound as straight-up black metal, but their “blackened” metal exudes the core qualities of the genre: Cobalt celebrates strength, expresses some deeply held anger, and tells the world just how little they regard the established order and status quo.
Cobalt has made a monolithic ten-track record that often seems impenetrable, but after repeated listenings offers greater and greater reward to the listener. Most people listening to this will not immediately be able to decipher the Hunter S. Thompson and Ernest Hemingway tribute that Wunder and McSorley emphasize – I sure didn’t hear it at first – but the spirit of this music can be summed up as “gonzo” in the vein of Thompson, focused (and perhaps homogenous) like Hemingway’s writing, and in general uninhibited, angry, and expressive of the liberty that both writers embraced. Fifty tracks of silence follow the ten proper songs, and the album concludes with a railroad work gang song (which is, needless to say, unique).
This is an album that bears inherent similarity to Eater of Birds, but further demonstrates Cobalt’s creativity in a flowing, organic way. Gin continues the tradition of excellence – and displays the unique perspective – of one of the rising bands in American metal. With Gin, Cobalt has recorded another highly interesting album that gives new voice to the traditional vitriol of black metal while leaving its meaning open to interpretation.