Tuesday 18 October 2016

Year Of The Cobra - ...In The Shadows Below (Album Review)

Release date: October 29th 2016. Label: STB Records. Format: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

...In The Shadows Below – Tracklisting

1.Lion And The Unicorn
2.The Siege
3.Vision Of Three
4.Spider And The Fly
6.White Wizard
7.Temple Of Apollo
8.Electric Warrior

Band Members:

Amy Tung-Barrysmith – Bass/Vocals
Jon Barrysmith - Drums


Year Of The Cobra have only been going as a band since 2015. Since then they have released a debut EP and a split record with legendary Stoner Rock band – Mos Generator. Both releases were acclaimed within the Doom/Stoner Community and this only showed a brief glimpse of what the band were truly capable of. When news was announced that the band signed to STB Records this made a lot of people very excited to hear their full length debut album.

Now that time is upon us as Year Of The Cobra have released ...In The Shadows Below. An 8 song opus that weaves a magical spell of Doom based Psych Stoner Rock riffs. There are a few moments of heavy sludge based riffs to prove that Year Of The Cobra know how to create a thunderous atmosphere.

Opening track Lion And The Unicorn is one of the albums strongest tracks as it gives the full picture of what to expect on the album. Year Of The Cobra are primarily a Drum and Bass Duo with lead vocalist Amy providing superb vocals. Year Of The Cobra paint a gloomy atmosphere with Jon's heavy drums and Amy's pounding bass. The band prove you don't need a lead guitarist to create heavy riffs as this hugely talented duo create heavy noises of their own.

Second track – The Siege – carries on the gloomy atmospherics with a few moments of psychedelic noises starting to appear for the first time. Amy's vocals have quite a hypnotic vibe to them. The band excel once again in the riffs department as they play an epic progressive jam based duel towards the end of the song.

Third track – Vision Of Three – opens with a slow-paced heavy pounding bass riff with Jon's finely tuned drumming that allows the band to build up excitement for the song. It's a more grunge based affair compared to the opening two tracks but Year Of The Cobra slowly add elements of Noise, Doom, Psych and Stoner sounds for one of the albums more emotionally haunting songs. Amy's vocals take a slight turn into Occult Rock territory though you can still detect something sinister lurking around the corner.

The whole production of the album is first rate which is not surprising since it was produced by the legendary Billy Anderson. Billy gives Year Of The Cobra's sound a heavier and more direct approach. Even the quieter moments still sound HEAVY!!!

Fourth track – Spider And The Fly – sees the band opting for a more 90s Alt Rock/Grunge sounding track with the emphasis firmly on Amy's vocals and the superb lyrics. Spider And The Fly is perhaps one of my favourite songs off the album as the song only lasts for 3 minutes but the band play some of the albums heaviest and fastest riffs on this song.

Fifth track – Persephone – is perhaps the song that most people will find the most enjoyment as it's another fast-paced affair but one that is pure Doom/Stoner Rock carnage. The instrumental work holds your attention throughout and you still won't miss the sound of an actual guitar. Shades of classic Black Sabbath appear on this track and it's a very cool influence to hear. Though the band do show their love for all things PUNK ROCK as well.

The final 3 tracks – White Wizard, Temple Of Apollo and Electric Warrior – sees Year Of The Cobra return to their Psych/Doom Metal roots with Amy's vocals moving into Occult Rock territory once again. Jon's drumming is perhaps what holds your attention as he's a fucking madman on the drums especially on White Wizard.

Year Of The Cobra have delivered on all counts with their debut album. ...In The Shadow's Below is simply an album you cannot ignore. It's a powerful and hard rocking affair that may just launch Year Of The Cobra as one of the next breakout bands within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Jadd Shickler for the promo. ...In The Shadows Below will be released on Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl via STB Records from October 29th 2016.