I must confess that I landed, at last, on Cobalt between the woundrous Gin (2009) and the new album, Slow Forever (2016), which is another shining piece of metal art: a long double album packed with so many ideas that could have filled three, if not four different albums. You know I like the albums built upon a bunch of riffs repeated to infinity and beyond, but the variety here is so overwhelming and strong that it can’t be dismissed: at the end of each of the longest tracks it seems like an entire record is gone by, not just a song. The landscape is the same, but endlessly transforming, and growing like a tree with infinite branches.
Guitar and voice, like they belong to each other from the beginning. The guitar work is spectacular: although not particularly big in sound, Erik Wunder’s is a tough and rough guitar, nervous and agile, jumping from a riff to another, but also capable of the deepest dive: she often seems to get tired quick of the riff she just stumbled upon, and in need of roaming elsewhere. The voice is the perfect hat for that giant: aching and explosive, Charlie Fell’s vocals come in exactly where they’re needed, with even strenght and ferocity.
You realize quite soon, going down the twelve tracks, that there is no need of a genre’s label, or, if you just can’t go without it, that the word that unite us all is enough: heavy. Taking freely something from many of our beloved genres and subgenres, Slow Forever is heavy, quintessential and pure heavy, flattening ‘n’ grinding the listener from start to finish, with just a couple of acoustic breaths along the way. You can feel a sense of urgency, of running away from the fire – or into it –, that finds temporary relief in some furious and solid codas.
Despite its ingredients – the ones you can taste immediately, the ones you can guess in the back –, Slow Forever shines and sparkles with infectious vigor and power, and a very strange kind of irrefutable joy.