Year Of The Cobra are something entirely different in the realms of doom metal, regardless of the fact that they share obvious connections with an act I’m also quite fond of, SubRosa. The difference here is that every track has it’s own vibe, rather than being a cohesive performance as with the aforementioned. Sure, “The Battle Of White Mountain” feels very much in the same tune as trippy doom with a female vocal approach, yet “The Divine” takes on a completely different vibe tonally; offering more of a chanty nature. The title track changes the mood entirely, as a sort of trippy doom/punk erupts from seemingly out of nowhere. “Demons” feels more like Portishead, while “At The Edge” features a rather poppy vocal approach. The record finishes off with a haunting ambience called “In Despair” which isn’t quite the note you may have expected the album to end on, though it fits. When the hefty bass comes in one final time to roll right into amp fuzz, I can think of no better note to end this journey.
Musically, there aren’t too many chages and I don’t feel that there should be – but it’s great to see several different vocal styles utilized, which changes the nature of these songs in a way that the listener won’t be prepared for. The record does contain a rather trippy doom atmosphere, but at least there’s a bit more meat on this bone than I’m offered with other acts, which just sound like carbon copies with a woman on the vocal end of things this time around. I can’t sing like she can, so I’d rather prefer to hear her performing vocal styles that I’m just not going to be proficient with, instead of the band ending up as just another one of those “oh look, we have a woman on the vocals” sort of act. Simply put, Year Of The Cobra give me something far more than is offered by the status quo.
Ash and Dust is a record that I can actually feel on a far deeper level than I would have ever expected and that definitely means there’s promise here. Whatever the band has planned for the future, I look forward to it. Until then, you may just want to go ahead and pick up the album.