Rating:
9.0
Cobalt - Gin
17 March 2009


01. Gin
02. Dry Body
03. Arsonry
04. Throat
05. Stomach
06. A Clean, Well Lighted Place
07. Pregnant Insect
08. Two Thumbed Fist
09. The Old Man Who Lied For His Entire Life
10. A Starved Horror


Every couple years Phil McSorley (vocals, guitars) and Erik Wunder (guitars, drums, everything else) under the moniker Cobalt pull a "Darkthrone" - that is basically cross the country, meet up and crush out an album together. 2009 saw the duo collaborate and unload the massive Gin on us all.

Musically, the album ebbs and flows a bit like waves pounding on a shore… the tracks seem to come and go alternately, with some crashing down like a swell against the rocks in a violent display of force, and others receding peacefully and calmly away with a lull that conceals the riptide underneath.

Songs like "Gin" and "Stomach" showcase the developing power of the incoming wave - building force and tension like the wave on the horizon that continues to build size and momentum as it races towards shore. "Arsonry" (the most straightforward track on Gin) and "Pregnant Insect" increase tempo and the violence, like the storm waves hitting the breakers. These tracks feature some tom abuse out of the kit (particularly "Pregant Insect" at times), crushing guitar riffs, sometimes featuring "sliding" powerchords adding to the wavy feel, as well as the ripped-throat screeching vocals of McSorley which black metal fans would appreciate.

On the other side of the spectrum, "Dry Body" is a slow and slowly developing song that lulls the listener in with a droning, clean guitar sound, haunting clean vocals, and a simple, subtle tribal-sounding drums that are almost off in the distance they are so quiet… the track does continue to build, guitars adding distortion, the drums growing louder, and both picking up in intensity as it progresses along, but despite a couple "swells", it maintains an atmosphere that is serene yet still foreboding.

"Throat" and "The Man Who Lied His Entire Life" are both comparatively mellow instrumental pieces that last around two minutes each and allow a slight cessation in the atmosphere that is carried over from the darker, and more violent tracks on the record.

With the exception of those two, the remaining tracks all clock in at around six minutes plus, and whether faster or slower overall, they all build and release a bit - "Arsonry" rages like a forest fire, but still finds a few quieter moments, "Dry Body" is almost hypnotic at times, but still has some outbreaks of speed.

Thematically the album, per McSorley, is a paean to the Nietzsche's Overman (see also: Übermensch) as well as the writing of Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson. Aggressive male behavior and excess are exhibited lyrically throughout the release. Most of the lyrics were written by McSorley, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, while he served in Korea.

Half of the song titles may very well have come straight off a bottle of gin ("Gin", "Dry Body", "Throat", "Stomach"), a key component of one of Hemingway's favorite drinks, the Montgomery Martini.

More tips of the cap appear to Hemingway throughout the album… the cover picture itself is Hemingway. Including the blank filler bits before the 'secret' song to close the release, the album totals 61 tracks - Hemingway's age upon his death, as well as the year of his death. (1899-1961)

The track "A Clean, Well Lighted Place" is the name of Hemingway short story, which is conveniently linked for your enjoyment. While most of the words within are inaudible, the last line of the song is the last line of the short story of the same name.

Undoubtedly there is a pointer or two I missed within as well that the more intrepid of you might uncover.

Ultimately Gin is an intense piece of work that retains an oppressive feel and covers some varying stylistic ground, making it difficult to label in any one genre. It is an ambitious album and a rewarding listen. Highly recommended.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Cobalt
Album: Gin


 



Written on 05.02.2010 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 11  
Users visited: 145  
Search this topic:  


S.K.Ø.M - 05.02.2010 at 19:56  
FUCKEN SHIT .. FINALLY ,, THE BEST BM RELEASE OF 2009 HAD A REVIEW HERE ..

its a big lame that this album hadnt been nominated in the Black metal category [just like Kreator]

anyway, its a great to see thats it finally had been finally reviewed,and hope that there gona be good no. of write-in votes for that masterpiece
Marcel Hubregtse - 05.02.2010 at 20:03  
Stop crying about Kreator, will you. That album is pedestrian and just average at best, where Gin is great.

I only found out about this album after decemebr 2010, and I think BiitterCOld did too.
BitterCOld - 05.02.2010 at 20:27  
Nah, i stumbled on to it prior to the close of the year. it was viewed favorably by the staff who had heard it prior to the close of nominations - but the problem was not enough had heard it compared to other nominees.

this album is the only one i feel particularly strongly about either making the cut or failing to make the cut.

this was a difficult album to write about... tough to describe. i think the fact Hemingway wrote "Old Man and the Sea" was what subconsciously influenced me to use the wave analogies. didn't hit me until afterward...
!J.O.O.E.! - 05.02.2010 at 20:27  
It's not quite as immense as Eater of Birds but it's still better than pretty much everything else out there. Album of the year, at least in black metal circles.
BudDa - 08.02.2010 at 07:07  
Written by S.K.Ø.M on 05.02.2010 at 19:56

FUCKEN SHIT .. FINALLY ,, THE BEST BM RELEASE OF 2009 ..


Really?! I should check it out then..
BitterCOld - 08.02.2010 at 07:17  
Written by BudDa on 08.02.2010 at 07:07

Written by S.K.Ø.M on 05.02.2010 at 19:56

FUCKEN SHIT .. FINALLY ,, THE BEST BM RELEASE OF 2009 ..


Really?! I should check it out then..


lol, i go outta my way to write a review for the album, daring to exceed our 500 word soft cap to state what a great album this was, and people respond to shouting in all caps.

i will keep this in mind the next time i have to draft up a review for an album i dig.
BudDa - 08.02.2010 at 08:16  
Written by BitterCOld on 08.02.2010 at 07:17

Written by BudDa on 08.02.2010 at 07:07

Written by S.K.Ø.M on 05.02.2010 at 19:56

FUCKEN SHIT .. FINALLY ,, THE BEST BM RELEASE OF 2009 ..


Really?! I should check it out then..


lol, i go outta my way to write a review for the album, daring to exceed our 500 word soft cap to state what a great album this was, and people respond to shouting in all caps.

i will keep this in mind the next time i have to draft up a review for an album i dig.


Btw, great review..but u know, a mere "FUCKEN SHIT..THE BEST BM RELEASE OF 2009" would have sufficed!lol
spirit_inblack - 21.02.2010 at 05:32  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 05.02.2010 at 20:27

It's not quite as immense as Eater of Birds but it's still better than pretty much everything else out there. Album of the year, at least in black metal circles.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with that, and I'm a little surprised that it didn't make it in the main list for the black metal section in the MS awards. Odd seeing as there's great hype over this band.
Destructo - 10.02.2011 at 09:15  
This was my first Cobalt album. Honestly, this band has created something truly unique in sound. This is Black Metal but yet it is not. This certainly has something distinctly American about it. Overall though, it's one of the most "different"-sounding albums I've heard in a very long time. I like it !!!
mz - 02.04.2013 at 13:41  
I listened to the first 2 songs and they were like tool going black. If the rest of the album is as good as the first two, this album will be a 9 + album.thanks to BC for review
SmokyPeat - 10.10.2013 at 20:03  
This is a brilliant album. Hopefully the guys decide to meet up again and release another grand slam.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Metal arena Cobalt Vs. Cobalt: Eater Of Birds or Gin? 4.5 24.07.2014 by Lit.
Albums Cobalt - Gin 4.5 22.02.2010 by Konrad
Reviews Ortega - 1634 3 03.07.2011 by Marcel Hubregtse
Reviews The Morningside - TreeLogia (The Album As It Is Not) 3 15.11.2011 by Troy Killjoy
Reviews Raventale - After 3 04.03.2011 by wormdrink414



Hits total: 5259 | This month: 58