(8/10) Los Angeles, California based Black Cobra is a two-piece band that was initiated by guitarist and singer Jason Landrian back in 2001. Landrian found with drummer Raphael Martinez a partner in crime and both are - Black Cobra.
During the first decade of the new century the duo released quite some full-length records before it took five long years for the band to publish their newest record "Imperium Simulacra".
This longplayer is fueled by spot-on stoner sludge that rocks pretty well. Eight tight assembled tracks are part of the album with "Technical Demise" as a bonus, pressed on the vinyl version of the album.
Almost like the artwork shows, Black Cobra managed to connect all cabels and connectors in the best possible way. Heavily downtuned guitars, mighty riffs and coarse vocals are fitting together in a great way, something that makes this album to a smoothly working sludge machine.
A highlight on Black Cobra's fifth album is the well-though through "Fathomas Below". Here we are talking about an eight minutes long doom sludge masterpiece. It shows the songwriting potential that sits in this duo. While being an acoustic steamroller, Black Cobra keeps a high level of suspence by adding many bends and twists to this track.
Compared to this finesse it is the puristic hypnosis that "Eye Among the Blind" stand for. This tune just hammers out ultimate power with an almost endless repeated riff.
To avoid the impression of Black Cobra just playing slow I need to mention the merciless opener "Challenger Deep". The duo decided to open this longplayer with a hard and fast rocker that is a punch into the face.
"Imperium Simulacra" shows what kind of aggressive power can be generated by two musicians. Black Cobra delivers an album that is energetic and comes with a really dense sound. This disc will get a few more rounds on my record player.
- Challenger Deep
- Imperium Simulacra
- Fathoms Below
- Eye Among The Blind
- The Messenger
- Dark Shine
- Sentinel (Infinite Observer)
- Technical Demise (vinyl bonus track)
Label: Season Of Mist
Release Date EU: February 26th, 2016