Another sludge band coming out of the woodwork after a considerable recording hiatus; Imperium Simulacra marks Black Cobra’s first release since 2011’s Invernal. That said, this heavy duo has never really stopped touring—they’re due back on these shores in April with Bongzilla, CBSA-permitting.
Imperium Simulacra comes barrelling outta the gate as expected, with “Challenger Deep” adopting a similar pace to their bros from another mo in Black Tusk. There’s also shades of Fu Manchu in the laid-back stoner drawls, albeit with a frantic energy more befitting of the Fu’s hardcore salad days in Virulence. The title track hits us with a barrelling drum barrage off the gate, before adopting more of a Motorhead/High on Fire stomp.
“Fathoms Below” is slightly slower, its cosmic vibes coming off as a cross between Kylesa and Sleep—tis a dish best served slow, in stark contrast to the barrelling blackened crust of “Obsolete” a couple tracks later. But for the most part, they inhabit the same territory as other West Coast outfits like High on Fire, Saviours, et al…a formula that’s served them well for 15 years, mind you.