October 10, 2007 | , | 4

Black Cobra, Feather and Stone

Black Cobra’s Feather and Stone features the tandem doom merchants of Jason Landrian (guitar/vocals) and Rafael Martinez (drums). How two dudes from Los Angeles, California can create such a caustic, abrasive sound as powerful as this is beyond me.

Through the eight tracks on this album, the listener will be pummeled by driving drums, crushing riffs and enough sludge to drown a horse. Huge doom riffs fit into a sludgy mix of noise with tortured screams thrown in for good measure — most of the tracks are fairly well paced and move along briskly, but others are a plodding, unstoppable walls of oblivion. Throw in a little stoner influences, a few grind elements and unique instrumental portions here and there and you have a sophomore album to take note of.

Five Daggers
Black Cobra waste no time getting down to business with “Five Daggers.” Noisy riffs and manic drumming start this one off before Landrian kicks in with his screams. I like the tempo shifts and guitar work starting at the 1:13 mark.

The Sapphire Falcon
After that quick introduction to the band, they kick it into high gear with a memorable and instantly classic bit of guitar work and galloping drums. I’m going to remember the opening of this track for some time to come. Martinez truly is a workhorse on the drums.

Below The Cusp
After “The Sapphire Falcon” fades noisily from your mind, this next track picks up the pace again with plenty of noise and another fairly unique riff. I’m still astounded that all this sound is from just two guys. “Below The Cusp” has a bit more of an aggressive edge to it.

“Below The Cusp” ends abruptly as the ambient and trippy “Thanos” comes into being with some interesting guitar work that’s lightly played yet still retains a good bit of darkness to it. The 1:26 point in the song marks a change in the guitar sound that reminds me a bit of an old track off of Monster Magnet’s Superjudge.

Red Tide
That interlude is quickly swallowed with some of the most insane drumming on the album. “Red Tide” is another of those tracks that you’ll be listening to in your head long after you remove the disc from your player. Some of the largest riffs can be found in this tempo shifting track. It’s probably my favorite on the disc.

Dragon & Phoenix
The longest track on the album (4:40) fades in slowly amongst a bit of noise and static. It’s not long before the riffs and drumming kick in — with Black Cobra quickly planting a thick soled boot on your chest as they beat the hell out of your skull with more doom than you care to think about. There’s a great slowdown at about the 2:12 mark that gives you a bit of a breather with some light guitar work before the band opens up that freshly healed wound again.

If you’re able to recover enough from “Dragon & Phoenix,” then quickly prepare yourself for this next track that subdues you into relaxing that little bit more for the first 30 seconds or so with some light guitar work. After that point, however, your ass is on its own, swimming through a sea of sludgy, doom filled riffs and powerful drums. This three minute plus instrumental ends softly with some more creative guitar work.

Swords For Teeth
As you’re lulled into a false sense of security with the end of “Ascension,” the band once again changes pace with this brisk, high paced final track. It’s a nice strong way to finish out an excellent album.

~ ~ ~

The sound that comes from your speakers on this one is grating and wonderful simultaneously. Doom and sludge commingle in perfect disharmony as Landrian screams his balls off. Throw this one in the CD player and hold on tight.

Favorite Tracks:
The Sapphire Falcon
Red Tide
Dragon & Phoenix
Swords For Teeth

Additional Notes:
Enhanced CD with live footage