If we’re going to talk Colorado metal in 2016 then we’re going to talk about Cobalt, the split with vocalist and guitarist Phil McSorely and Cobalt’s new album, Slow Forever. Back it up seven years, McSorely was still in the group and Gin was well received. Erase everything that has occurred since and we’re now left with the beginning of Cobalt’s fourth album and Erik Wunder. Joining him for the new album is Charlie Fell, who has a background in oily sludge metal with Lord Mantis.

If I said that Slow Forever picks up where Gin left off, I wouldn’t be describing it. This album scrubs off some more of the blackened sound and just digs a touch deeper into the sludge, something I wanted to hear. Gin was a solid album that really didn’t do anything worth criticizing, from start to finish it is a good listen. While I enjoyed Slow Forever I felt that if it would’ve benefited from one change, it would be shortening portions or even removing a few tracks. It ended up as a two disc album.

I’m of the 45 minute school of thought. It is just a sweet spot for any music album. Period.

The change in sound is just fine by me. I love black metal, but not everything that has black metal influence needs to stick to the programming. Fell’s vocals are the most black metal thing about this album, the rest is just a concoction of riffs and drums making sludgy, bluesy, hardcore noises on a grander scale. There’s a lot of building up and winding down throughout this album.

This album still kicks ass with tracks like “Ruiner,” “Cold Breaker,” and “Final Will,” my favorite track here. I think the first two tracks are good examples on this album of doing it all right while “Final Will” has impressed me as one of the early release tracks before the album stream was put up. I also really liked the title track which starts off a bit too slowly, but closes out very well.

Wrapping it up, Slow Forever is a further step in a different direction with their sound and that’s fine by me. This wasn’t something completely different than what they had, they just went this way more definitively. The change in sound will surely alienate others who were in love with Gin and see that as the definition of Cobalt.

Gin was a special album and Slow Forever is still very much worth your time and money and is available tomorrow from Profound Lore.