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Obsidian Tongue - Volume III review

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Band: Obsidian Tongue
Album: Volume III
Release date: January 2020

01. Anatkh
02. Coda - Child In Ice
03. Empath
04. Poison Green Dream
05. Return To The Fields Of Violet

Man, it's really been a while since I heard an atmospheric black metal album with so much versatility.

It's also been a long while since we heard an Obsidian Tongue album period, with their last and only Obsidian Tongue album not to have "Volume" in its name, A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time, having been released in 2013. To put that into perspective, that's about when I first joined Metal Storm, so it's quite a while. In the meantime, half of Obsidian Tongue is gone, but worry not, it just means that there is a new drummer in the duo, this time being Falls Of Rauros' Ray Capizzo. The core of Obsidian Tongue has always been Brendan James Hayter, who you may know for his bass-playing stints in Woods Of Ypres and Thrawsunblat. So what difference do six years make?

Quite a lot if I remember their first two albums correctly. I remember almost mistaking some song on their previous one for some second-rate Agalloch, which is a somewhat of a good thing, but I'm glad that Volume III continued to push their sound to something more definitively Obsidian Tongue-ish. A lot of it can still sound like something else, whether that be the aforementioned Agalloch, or Cult Of Luna or even Summoning at times, but for the most part I listen to it and I don't immediately think "This sounds like band X". And in an album where two of the songs push close to the 15-minute mark, I'm so glad that I can hear something that feels like itself.

And what's even better is how great that sounds. For an atmospheric post-black metal album, the production here is amazing and it's such a joy to really pay attention and immerse yourself in the sound. If the tag didn't give it away, the album is really atmosphere, but it feels like it takes post-metal's approach to atmosphere rather than atmospheric black metal's in the blend of the two. There's some great diversity of sound here, from some folky choirs, to black metal blast beats, to a sound that while atmospheric never really pushes the brakes too much on the riffs and the drum fills. There's way less clean acoustic moments than on previous records, which feels like it makes this record a lot more pummeling and it does not suffer for it. It does not fall into the usual pastiches of atmospheric black and even when it used those elements, it feels well deserved.

This is a sound that has rightfully began to be regarded as more and more generic, but it's bands like Obsidian Tongue that prove how much more there still is to be done with it once you really put a lot more effort into it. And judging by how much versatility there is in Volume III and by how long it took to make it, I'd say there was a lot of effort. And it payed off.

Written on 10.02.2020 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 88 users
10.02.2020 - 15:49
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
You shlwn your good side of music and mention good ABM bands dude, this is cool band, love it, true
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
10.02.2020 - 16:03

This band is great, thanks for the review.
21.02.2020 - 04:00
Troy Killjoy
Falls Of Rauros and Woods Of Ypres mentioned in the same paragraph piqued my interest, and there's pretty clear influence of those styles being utilized here. Right from the opening track, with the atmosphere of a blackgaze banger, but with those classic Woods-esque playfully morose melodies leading to some daunting clean vocals to balance the onslaught of aggression and backing shrieks. And it only grows from there.

At first glance I was going to skip this, but noticed the review and figured it was worth spending some time with. Glad I did. Kudos on the write-up.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."

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