Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November Doom - Year of the Cobra : "Ash and Dust"

There are few things that are surprising about this duo. The first being that they are a duo and this is fuzzed out bass not guitar.  The second is how I was so  shocked by the almost sugary pop like vocals that come in against the very dense and heavy fuzz. In fact she could sound just like Katy Perry and I would prefer it to another second rate Ozzy impersonation or tired grunting.  It stands to reason due to the approach to the vocals that they are influenced by Jucifer. If they had never  heard of Jucifer I would be surprised for a third though Jucifer is not the most well known name as they are not prolific these days. They do not just throw the more pop inflected vocals on you from the get go they gradually get there. On the first song there is a more droning pulse , with the vocals taking on a despondent chant. The music gets heavier on the second song, yet the vocals are harmonized in more pop like fashion. This song has more groove yet keeps the ominous shadow of heaviness.

They break from doom into a more Motorhead like punk with "Ash and Dust" . They are not bad at it , but I prefer their doom. They return to it with the even darker "Demons". Her voice goes lower and gain some grit. "Into the Fray" is where they hit you with the heaviest riff yet, but dial up the pop factor of the vocal melodies. Though it works. The drummer shine more on "At the Edge" the bass is moodier and more melodic as the vocals croon around it. The way the dynamic flow I can hear how this is  bass doing everything, but it's harder to hear when the distortion gets stomped on.I think it plays to their favor as it steers them in a more melodic direction.

Drone and groove are their stock and trade. The loud soft dynamic as seems to be a set part of the formula.  I had to listen to "Dark Swan" a few times for it to sink in. The closing track in despair is more melodic , but the heavier elements that define this due are not in place . This is due to the fact that it is mainly bass and vocals. If this was played on guitar it would be more of a darker folk feel. I will round up to a 9 because, I have gotten a great deal of mileage out of this one and the last song is the only one that doesn't connect with me much. The rest of the album continues to grow on me. 


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