Spin - "SLOW FOREVER sees Wunder's Tool obsession bloom, never resorting to blast beats, but harnessing Danny Carey's inability to sit still, thus never letting down on the intensity."
Pitchfork (Website) - "After replacing their lead singer, the reborn metal duo Cobalt make their best-ever record, as accessible as it is aggressive, with magnetic hooks, shout-along mantras, and sparkling riffs."
Audio Mixer: Dave Otero .
Recording information: Flatline Audio, Denver, CO (06/2015-09/2015).
Photographer: Jimmy Hubbard.
The first new set of music from the Erik Wunder-led extreme metal group in nearly seven years, Slow Forever arrives after a long period of upheaval and transition for Cobalt that ended with the forced departure of controversy-inciting vocalist Phil McSorley. Released in 2009, Gin found its way onto nearly everybody's year-end metal lists, and rightly so, but fans looking for another blast furnace-forged set of grindcore-infused American black metal will need to recalibrate their earholes, as Slow Forever is a much different -- though no less toast-worthy -- beast. An unwieldy mix of post-hardcore, post-grunge, hard rock, punk, prog, folk, and yes, black metal, the mammoth two-disc set exists in its own dark universe, red with rage and spinning out of control in every direction. New vocalist and ex-Lord Mantis front man Charlie Fell is a far more dynamic screamer than McSorley, and his feral and elastic wail suits Wunder's newly expansive composition style. Lurid opener "Hunt the Buffalo" starts off as a doomy midtempo flannel rocker before exploding into a double kick drum-peppered slab of blackened groove metal -- think Alice in Chains meets Kvelertak. Elsewhere, instrumental "Animal Law" -- there are a few of these lyricless outliers, all different -- is propelled by a tight martial beat before segueing into the ferocious, thrash-kissed "Ruiner"; the epics "King Rust" and "Final Will" flirt with goth and prog rock without relinquishing any of their caustic metal bite; and hidden closing track "Siege" tears the whole thing down via a relentless bit of face melting that manages to evoke Killing Joke, Exploited, Swans, and Agalloch in a pit fight. The through line for all of this is pure unadulterated aggression, and that adherence to sonic apoplexy helps to temper some of the whiplash-inducing genre turns that unfold throughout Slow Forever's over 80-minute running time. It's ambitious, for sure. That there isn't a single moment that's not compelling is the real victory. ~ James Christopher Monger