Sound — 9
The Black metal duo of Cobalt (Erik Wunder and Phil McSorley) carve a dark and strange sound on their latest effort, Gin. Cobalt's Gin is a spooky album, filling your speakers with the eerie echoes of dead men and crazy spirits. The minimal instrumentation work together to forge a barabaric set of compositions, contrasting sections of low key droning with hammering attacks. The riffwork is almost groovy in nature, reminiscent of Tool, but only if Adam Jones was brought up on Black Metal. The tribal drumming helps fuel the album, sometimes hypnotic with its rhythm. Interestingly, the most disturbing sections of the album are the ones of mysterious calm; 'Dry Body' is an unnerving experience as is 'Pregnant Insect.' Cobalt works exceedingly well in creating an atmosphere of tension and aggression.
Lyrics — 10
There is a dark sense of horror represented in the lyrics of Gin. Focussing on the work of Gonzo genius Hunter S Thompson and writer Ernest Hemingway, McSorley brings out a tortured and nihilistic feeling which fits in seemlessly with the music. McSorley belts out the words in a throat-tearing shrieks, sometimes opting for a low chant. The sheer insanity inspired by the lyrics of the album is almost palpable.
Overall Impression — 8
Gin is an obscure and inexplicable album, filled with intense feeling and an air of pure dread. It is difficult to truly express the mood evoked by the album; a deeply personal journey which would be a different experience for every listener. The music provided is fantastic; the work performed by Wunder is fantastic though it is only through the sharp cohesion between him and McSorely that this record truly works.