|Obsidian Tongue is a duo from Massachusetts manifesting a personal vision of Black Metal: An intense, eerie and ritualistic sound that merges traditional Black Metal elements with their signature sense of melody and progressive song structure. Moments of beauty and moments of despair are weaved seamlessly into a tapestry of raw human emotion.
Their name illustrates the key principle that unites all of their songs into an expansive narrative of personal evolution through introspect, spiritual development and the incredible power of music.
Obsidian is a pitch-black volcanic glass that is used traditionally to absorb negative energies, and encourage mental/spiritual clarity. Music is widely considered a universal language, and for band members Brendan James Hayter and Greg Murphy, their musical ritual is The Obsidian Tongue.
After 2 demos (2010 Demo and the 2011 Subradiant Architecture demo), their debut album Volume I: Subradiant Architecture was recorded and mixed onto vintage tape machines in March 2012 at Mystic Valley Studio in Medford by Alex Garcia-Rivera. The sound is organic and raw, allowing the compositions to speak for themselves.
The record was graced with the artwork of Norwegian artist Namtaru, of Namtaru Creations. Her grayscale illustrations provide 3 key visuals to guide the listener through the musical journey. The connection between these 3 illustrations is left for the listener's imagination to create.
Founding member and guitarist/vocalist Brendan James Hayter: "The first string of compositional attempts I made in the extreme metal style, naturally congealed into a 50 minute record named Volume I: Subradiant Architecture. These songs truly came together in a connected fashion, so it was only proper to call it a Volume. Furthermore, Subradiant Architecture is a term for the imaginary "Shadow World" that much of the music takes place in, the consistent closed-eye visuals this music has given me since I first began to explore it. It suggests that the gods designed and built this lightless realm in our psyche like a piece of architecture, for Man to explore the origins of his despair and draw wisdom and power from symbolic images. In this life such emotions as despair, anxiety, abhorrence for mankind, and the uncertainty of my fate both in this world and the next, have been my greatest guides. It is like a sense of duty to honor the evolution I have undergone through these chronic internal storms, and through the catharsis of extreme metal music."
With nearly 5 hours of music composed and ready for release, the duo will continue exploring and celebrating the psychedelic, cathartic and unifying principles of extreme metal until the end of their days.
In May 2013, Obsidian Tongue returned to Mystic Valley Studios to record their second installment named A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time. 6 songs averaging 9 minutes in length, the album is a psychedelic and introspective journey through the collective unconscious of Man and the Dark Half of the emotional spectrum; A sonic depiction of the spiritual affirmation and personal evolution attainable only through sorrow, anger and disillusionment.
About the album, Hayter said: "We took a slower and less aggressive, spacey kind of approach with the new album. We wanted to conjure a hypnotic atmosphere that perpetuates through the record, yet we wanted to cover a lot of ground within that atmosphere, conceptually and emotionally. We infused a lot of very personal ideas and feelings into these songs, almost too much to list. It's almost unnecessary to list... all I can really tell people is, A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time is our lifeblood, our mission statement, and really the only thing we give a fuck about right now."
A noteworthy contribution to this musical odyssey has been made by John Haughm of the legendary dark metal outfit Agalloch, taking lead vocal duties for the album's title track.
Obsidian Tongue has signed with Hypnotic Dirge Records from Canada for the release of A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time, making it a dual release with the band's own imprint Dissociation Records.
The album is slated for release in late July of 2013. This will be just in time for their tour with fellow New England Black Metal horde Autolatry, with whom they will be traversing across North America for the entire month of August.