Coberord – S/T CS

15 January 2016 offering No Comment


Coberord – S/T

Coberord bandcamp

The pairing of ritual music and the slower register of metal produces some very interesting and imaginative songwriting. The previously mentioned Atarah and groups like Phurpa often recreate heaviness by drafting empty space in between barren landscapes of strings, organic instruments, and other acoustics.

Featuring members of Habsyll and Stille Volk, Coberord sulks in the creepy robe void where ritual and sludge/doom metal fumes converge. This album is a very slow starter. The opening 17 minute track is gratuitously sparse with plinks, croaks, ghoulish screams, incoherent commotion, and subtle skulking. Perhaps it fills a need to create the mood (a dark one at that), but its length detracts somewhat from the pace that follows.

“Le Même arbre se répète” is that keystone track that masterfully conjures Einsturzende Neubauten percussion and dominating static discharge. Even more aggressive, “Danse pierre” quakes onward with roiling guitar and shimmering crashing sludge metal tempo, stopping momentarily to disgorge itself until it starts up again with wailing feedback. Rather than fill the description of industrial and black metal, for me this is more about evoking the mood of sludge and aggressive ritualism combined with a nominal appreciation for industrial with some outsider strokes towards the blackened realm. There is far too much dynamic orchestration on these later tracks that belie a sense of song oriented process that most industrial often chooses to eschew. The sludge pace here is perfect for creating manic repetition and bewitching atmosphere.

After the album’s conclusion, I quickly reviewed the second track “Cimetière chimères” to see if I had too hastily dismissed the sparseness. Turns out that that track and “Le Revers du Soleil” do add some meditative compounds to the overall arch of the album, though trying to shoehorn “darkness and evilness” as filler prelude is not my thing. However, on their own these first three tracks have a dark ambient distinction that should have been their own album. If the album opened up with the ominous “Forêt V Cathédrale Glas I”, the overall feeling of being lost in the rhythm would have been more engaging. “Metempsychosis” would have also been a more notable ending in its thick restraint of solemnity.

This is nevertheless a rich album that balances atmosphere and songwriting. Of note in particular is the recording of the percussive sounds…so nicely positioned in the mix are these sparse sonorous hits and splashed clangings that they take up a lot of space without steamrolling the rest of the instrumentation. If you pick this up, take note that Phage Tapes has a very nicely designed, and silk-screened packaging option.

Composition: ★★★½☆
Sounds: ★★★½☆
Production Quality: ★★★½☆
Concept: ★★★☆☆
Packaging: ★★★½☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

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