Originally Posted by JRA
So you know how Gamma Ray is derivative of Priest and Maiden and stuff? Well this is pretty much the Gamma Ray of the "Tool" and "Opeth" department. It's not really anything new, and at times it passes the greatness of it's predecessor, but the only way I can see anybody thinking this is avant-Garde is if you are stuck in 1995 and you still think Tool and Faith No More are still the avant Garde.
One of the things I did not like about Opeth is they play the same tempo over and over again. If you're a drummer, that can get on your nerves very fucking quickly. They do occasionally switch, but when they are playing the "Third Eye" tempo. Only hearing two tempos over and over again is one of my quirky musical pet peeves.
re: first paragraph - although I wouldn't discourage folks from making comparisons to Opeth and Tool (the former of which I really don't care for, the latter of which I love), I don't think Cobalt is "derivative" of either of these necessarily. The Opeth comparisons come because Cobalt is black, and so are they. But that's where the comparison stops, I think. The Tool comparisons are mainly because the drums sound a lot like Danny Carey's work. But again, this is where the comparison stops. Cobalt is brutal, blackened death metal. Opeth is symphonic black metal that gets heavy at times. Tool is progressive alt metal. All three have their differences (and similarities).
re: second paragraph - I hear you on the tempo thing, and as a drummer I would expect you to notice it more than most of us. To be honest, it doesn't bother me at all. But do yourself a favor and try to hear the rest of what's on display here and not get so wrapped up in the tempo. I know you can hear pieces of brilliance, because you referenced them yourself in your opposing viewpoint. I think if you listen more and focus on the points you like, you may grow to love this.
Or maybe not. But I did, and I'll bet you five bucks this ends up in the top ten - if not five - of at least half a dozen well-recognized lists (and I'm talking published here, not us trolls here on the ol' board
) for the best albums of 2009. I betcha.