Thursday, 18 February 2016

Black Cobra - "Imperium Simulacra" (Album Review)

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/02/2016
Label: Season of Mist


Despite Black Cobra being half the size of most metal bands, this album is a beast, their sound is so full and frantic that between Landrian’s manic riffing and Martinez filling up every single beat, there’s simply no space for more. This isn’t mindless metal music, either, there’s extreme talent at work.  With such a barrage of aggressive sludge-metal, “Imperium Simulacra” tears itself open through a wall of sound that towers high and wide over the listener. Black Cobra is making their existence known and how. So take heed, “Imperium Simulacra” is a riotous album filled with a sharp, aggressive onslaught of sludge-metal that destroys everything in its path.

“Imperium Simulacra” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Challenger Deep
2). Imperium Simulacra
3). Fathoms Below
4). Eye Among The Blind
5). The Messenger
6). Obsolete
7). Dark Shine
8). Sentinel (Infinite Observer)
9). Technical Demise


The Review:

On February 26, Californian sludge-metallers Black Cobra will release their fifth full-length – their first for Season of Mist – “Imperium Simulacra.” Though Black Cobra may be a household name for some, they only caught my eye once their tour with Lo-Pan and Against the Grain in the fall of 2015 was announced. As a fan of both of those bands, and with the tour just kicking off stateside, I took a gander at Black Cobra, which promptly put me on their train headed straight to Get-With-The-New-Album-Already Central Station. And wouldn’t you know, despite Black Cobra being half the size of most metal bands, this album is a beast. 

Black Cobra’s sound is so full and frantic that between Landrian’s manic riffing and Martinez filling up every single beat, there’s simply no space for more. This isn’t mindless metal music, either, there’s extreme talent at work. Take a close listen to what Martinez does and how he shows the kick drum who’s boss without the aid of a double-bass pedal while his hands speed their way across the toms without sacrificing any force. Though this is one way to leave an impression, his counterpart handles the axe without a problem, pushing emotion through these busy riffs. With this talent and such a barrage of aggressive sludge-metal, Black Cobra is able to remain in control of their sound and songs.  

Imperium Simulacra” tears itself open through a wall of sound that towers high and wide over the listener. Powerful rhythms and sludgy riffing attack all at once. A one two punch of “Challenger Deep” and the title track pushes amps, speakers and dials to their max even before the first quarter of the album’s run time has passed. “Fathoms Below” is a break of sorts but no less heavy, closing out with some of the album’s only audible lyrics, declaring, “exist as nothing, exist as no one.” This is followed up by the ferocious “Eye Among the Blind,” directly contradicting the claim in the previous song’s denouement. Black Cobra is making their existence known and how. So take heed, “Imperium Simulacra” is a riotous album filled with a sharp, aggressive onslaught of sludge-metal that destroys everything in its path.

Imperium Simulacra” Is available here



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