American black metal band Cobalt hails from Greeley, CO and came into existence when vocalist and guitarist Phil McSorley partnered up with guitarist/bassist/drummer Erik Wunder in 2002, then abandoned his former moniker of Grimness Enshroud, after just one demo recording. The newly renamed duo members began their collaboration by pooling together their shared infatuation with hostile sounds into 2003's Hammerfight EP and, later, 2005's descriptively named War Metal album -- both of which were brimming with confidence and promise. But it wasn't until 2007's Eater of Birds LP -- a critic- and fan-acclaimed cult favorite -- that Cobalt (a studio only, non-touring proposition, in case you were wondering) started distinguishing themselves both musically and via surprisingly intellectual literary influences ranging from Nietzsche to Hunter S. Thompson. By now Cobalt was signed to the roster of discerning metal label, Profound Lore, and would deliver another EP in 2008's Landfill Breastmilk Beast before taking an enforced leave of absence while McSorley -- an infantryman enlisted in the U.S. Army -- shipped out for a tour of duty in Iraq. Shortly after his return, however, he channeled his first-hand "battle metal" experience into the lyrics for Cobalt's third long-player and true commercial breakthrough, Gin, which would go on to earn numerous Album of the Year nominations from some of the world's most respected heavy metal publications.