|Big fans of Reverend Bizarre who've guzzled down the output of recent trad. Doom acts like Griftegard and Procession would do well to get involved in Obsidian Sea.|
|Obsidian Sea come out of nowhere (well actually out of scenic Bulgaria, but figuratively speaking), with a pretty damn capable traditional doom war machine in their debut Between Two Deserts. The record is a near hour of heavy '80s doom in the vein of Candlemass and Trouble.|
Multi-instrumentalist Anton is handling all stringed instruments, vocals, and seemingly a portion of the drums as well which are shared with bandmate Bozhidar. His vocals have got a bit of that Sir Albert melodrama, and something in common with Karl Simon I feel. He can also solo when he wants to, whipping out a neat closing solo on 'Mountain Womb' for examps, and the classical rock style solo that ends the album is real sweet too. The drums meanwhile have a great crashing heaviness and to be honest the end result is something that belies the band's newness.
One gripe with the sound would be the bottom end though - it's got the requisite heaviness, Anton's wail sounds suitably manly and miserable, and the sort of burning, antiheroic keen to the guitars you need for this manner of doom. But it all gets let down a bit by the lack of a convincing bass guitar sound, which could have really tightened up the record's lower end. But this really is a small gripe. With that extra bass strength, this could have been pushed to another level, but I'm digging this as it is.
It certainly didn't stop me from enjoying hooky crushers like 'The Seraph', and throughout the songwriting wins these guys some points big time. The album's pacing is pretty much spot on for this type of stuff. It's a slightly more caffeinated approach to the Reverend Bizarre model of Go Really Slow For Ages Then Get Slightly Quicker At The End So It Seems Like The Fastest Thing Ever. I enjoy how 'At the Temple Doors' lifts itself weightily into a slightly more propulsive and heavy ending with Anton bellowing above. 'Impure Days' presents a steamrolling Nightfall-style ode to woe that breaks into something like a fast-paced Dio number towards the end. Plenty of other miserly highlights with nary a break in the clouds; 'Mountain Womb' has a good Candlemass chug to it and a fantastic My Dying Bride-esque climax, while 'Beneath' breeds some real rocking passages into a real Rev Biz slow-as-treacle affair. They obviously listen to the Rev a lot. Good work, I say.
Big fans of Reverend Bizarre who've guzzled down the output of recent trad doom acts like Griftegard and Procession would do well to get involved in this. When it comes to doom, the Vol.4 shirted masses will respect you for trying something new. But we will love you for a such note perfect homage to proper '80s doom.
Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.
1. At the Temple Doors
2. Mountain Womb
3. The Seraph
4. Impure Days
5. Curse of the Watcher
6. Absence of Faith
7. Second Birth
9. Flaming Sword
Duration : Approx. 55 minutes
Visit the Obsidian Sea bandpage.