Monday, June 5, 2017
OBELYSKKH : "the Providence"
Germany is doing it again. Fuzzed out sludge ridden doom seems to fit my mood this afternoon. Right off the bat with the title track that opens the album, I like the really hollow baritone vocals that almost have more of a post-punk feel. This builds into harsher roared vocal and then switches back on the following verse. There are familiar sounds, but it's clear by their fourth album these guys have found a sound that works for them. I am not sure why this song is not two songs as it seems like we could have had a clean break around the five and a half minute mark. The riff gets more sinewy. There is more of a "Children of the Grave" feel to "the Raving Ones" which doesn't feel as fresh as the opener. I can hear where they are more evenly matched with peers like Electric Wizard. I am more than half way through "Northern Lights" when I realize it's not the previous song. So the big lumbering guitar tone can give things a very uniform feel at times.
The next sprawling epic is "Nyx". The varied vocals styles lean more towards a mean sneer. The riff is powerful, but not re-inventing the wheel. I am about five minutes in before I look up and check where I am at in this song, so that is a good sign. Though I have not been focused on it 100 percent and at times it begins to drift into background music. I check back in for the creepier passage around the seven minute mark. When the song begins to fade out into feedback and a linger snare beat I wonder why they are keeping it going. This is never answered. They employ a clean guitar tone at the beginning of "Aeons of Iconoclasm" , it stays with in the range of Neurosis zip code and closer to sludge than doom. There is more of a creepy atmosphere to the sonic swell of "Marzanna" I had to listen to this song a few times before it sank in. I like the dark throb of the verse riff and how it steers them away from your typical over blown doom. The effected vocals are layered to create a more trippy delivery than just being roared at you. Not that they don't roar as it builds.
While the first song really took me by storm, getting me excited enough to want this on my iPod , once it settles into the meat of the album we begin to hear somethings are more familiar than they are not. For what this is I think this album is well done and hits the mark where they wanted it. I'll give it an 8.5 as certainly puts them solidly on my radar and apart of the masses.