BLACK COBRA
"Bestial"

(At a Loss)

01. One Nine
02. Thrown from Great Heights
03. El Equis
04. Beneath
05. Omniscient
06. The Cry of Melora
07. Broken on the Wheel
08. Sugar Water
09. El Doce de Octubre
10. Sombra de Bestia
11. Kay-Dur-Twenty

RATING: 7.5/10

Let's begin by giving thanks to the fine people at At a Loss Recordings for continuing to dredge up some of the angriest, angular, and utterly mind-fucking sonic trample in the universe. The trend ain't dead either. Now comes a two-man project called BLACK COBRA that fills every nook and cranny with down-tuned sludgy tones that run straight to the earth's center and an attacking, often up-tempo delivery that is equal parts sludge pummel and hardcore punk stomp.

That it is all done with a bottom-feeding guitarist that squawks, rumbles and moves heaping mounds of earth and a drummer that flails away and never allows the structure to collapse is impressive. Then again we are talking about drummer Rafael Martinez (ex-16) and vocalist/guitarist Jason Landrian (ex-CAVITY), aren't we? These are not musicians known for playing sets at the local reggae sun splash festival or penning songs for the hopeless romantic. After a well-received three-song, six-minute demo the two collaborated on a full-length while living on separate coasts (Jason Landrian in NYC and Rafael in Los Angeles). This 36-minute (11 songs) monolith was spawned out of anger and likely the fallout from a range of addictive behaviors.

Most of these tunes are in the two to three-and-half-minute range and the intent of each is to bury the listener alive. A pace that is relatively quick keeps the material largely out of sludge-crawl tempo territory, although there are some moments of that as well (the six-minute "The Cry of Melora" offering a range of speeds and emotions). Aside from brief sojourns like the Far East guitar sounds that open the two-minute "Beneath", a bludgeoning and less intricate strain of MASTODON or even a HIGH ON FIRE can be heard on most of these cuts. The comparison is to be taken very generally though, as the approach on "Bestial" is to wound with instruments and inflict pain through agonizing vocal purges. Some of you may have been looking for a cure for musical boredom that involves anxiety-ridden and drug-addled lash-outs. Welcome to "Bestial".

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