Metal Mondays Review: Year of the Cobra burning all to ‘Ash and Dust’

Metal Mondays Review: Year of the Cobra’s “Ash and Dust” on Prophecy Productions

Release Date: Nov. 1, 2019

Sounds Like: Sleep (the band), Baroness, Black Sabbath, doom & sludge metal and stoner rock

Recommended Tracks: “Into the Fray, No. 5” “Ash and Dust,” No. 3 and “Battle of White Mountain,” No. 1

“Ash and Dust” by Year of the Cobra. Image courtesy of Prophecy Productions.

Imagine trudging through a swampy forest in the Pacific Northwest with the thumping beat of a fuzzed-out bass as your soundtrack. The Year of the Cobra is a great year indeed. “Ash and Dust” is the second full-length release from this doom and sludge metal outfit. The Seattle-based two-piece is made up of Amy Tung Barrysmith on bass and vocals and Johanes Barrysmith on drums.

The album consists primarily of mesmerizing mid-tempo tracks. “Into the Fray” equally highlights the raw and sludgy doom with the groovy psychedelic influences that it originates from.

Although there are only two instruments, Year of the Cobra allows the instruments to breathe. The bass does double-duty, providing a wall-of-sound throbbing bass that can shake a black cat out of a tree,

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while creating enough distortion to mimic a guitar — it can feel earthshaking at times if you turn it loud enough.

Year of the Cobra is by no means reinventing the wheel, but there’s no need to do so if you have a chugging sound that can pull you in and crush those in the way.

“Ash and Dust” is an album that balances the heavy, distorted bass with eerie and atmospheric singing — equal parts epic heaviness and songwriting that hooks you as if under a spell. Listen to these wizards of sludge and hear for yourself the allure of its charm and raw energy. Start with track No. 3, to get “Into the Fray.”

Russ Slaten, loud rock director, writes Metal Mondays Reviews based on new, heavy music at KRUA 88.1FM (kruaradio.org), UAA’s student-run radio station in Anchorage, AK.

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