Black Cobra - Chronomega

Black Cobra are a nasty little two-piece dinner of southern-fried-sludge from the Bay Area of California. Consisting (as so many of these bands seem to) of just guitar and drums, they merge into a sound just short of drone and doom, like an erupting volcano spurting out pick-up trucks into a rat-laden swamp. With several albums already under their gator-skin jackets, this is their first for the mighty Southern Lord label and they’ve pulled out all the stops.

Tracks skulk, slither and sneak only to then strike - just like their namesake, injecting deadly poisonous serum through your veins. It’s a seriously grim demise, leaving you struggling for breath and grasping your chest. There is no anti-venom. There is no let-up: it’s a relentless assault on the system. ‘Lightning In His Hand’ and ‘Zero Point Field’ have a remorseless grind partnered with throat-shredding vocals and they form the best examples of Black Cobra’s doom-crammed mantra. Like many two-pieces before, there is an unspoken knowing of the other, a telepathy of sorts, producing a tight arrangement that no matter how technical these songs become both musicians complement each other, becoming greater than the sum of their parts.

‘Chronosphere’ pushes its head out of the quagmire with its buzz-saw guitars slicing their way through the deluge of down-tuned noise, as does ‘Storm Shadow’ which somehow manages to clamour to the shore, shake off the sludge and indulge in an old fashioned metal thrashing. It’s this variety in the material that prevents tedium. They may not be the world's fastest or heaviest band and whilst it’s true that there is little new ground being travelled, what they do, they do extremely well.

Overall

7

out of 10

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