Review Summary: Tight songwriting and excellent technicality make Obsequiae a name to consider
It's inarguable that the medieval-inspired music never gets old fashioned, especially in metal. Apart from the usual mockery and the justified complaints for bold repetition, it has managed to remain interesting, mostly due to its thousandfold transformations ranging from black-metal savages to folksier indie products that sympathized with the earthly and heroic feeling that such tunes hold. The formula is widely known: throw some woodwinds, invite a furious violinist and buy a lute. For some, the extra-leathered costumes and hats made it even more possible to transgress the field of musical experimentation and pass through the door of ridiculousness. Thankfully, there were still bands that followed a more rough road, like the one that modern troubadours like Ian Anderson or ethereal mistresses like Lisa Gerrard, paved.
One of these bands is Obsequiae. While bearing no resemblance with the aforementioned artists in terms of genre and instrumentation, the band successfully creates an impressive mixture of folk-tinged black metal, that mostly stays away from the rigid train-riffing and focuses on epic melodies and impressive riff combinations. And that's where Obsequiae can be proclaimed as offsprings of such acclaimed, medieval-inspired artists: in their ability to recreate the atmosphere of these mossy dungeons with drums, bass and 2 guitars as their only allies - namely with what means they considered proper for delivering such emotions and themes. However, Suspended In The Brume Of Eos
, is not the folky metal album that finds itself high and dry outside its genre. The band's debut is an album equally enjoyable for a wide spectrum of metalheads.
In most of its parts, Suspended In The Brume Of Eos
serves as a torrential rain of polyphonic melodies and riffing. Steadily built on the vivacious and articulate drumming, the dueling guitar patterns literally steal the show. Fast and technical, not that memorable, but always respectful to melody and clarity, the guitar work is excellently based on velocity while leaving the proper space for mournful leads and serpentine grooves. It's what melodic death should have done before vanishing into uninspired, pop refrains and repetitive melodies. The eterophony created within the guitar interplay is powerful and the synergy is flawless. A quick listen to "Atonement" or "Cabin Lights" should convince anyone. Moreover, what makes the overall quality more solid is the basslines: usually sacrificed for more guitar layers, here they stay up in the mixing, making the sound warmer and tight. And while the vocals come straight from the black metal realm, cold and chaotic, the acoustic interludes, rather than waning the intensity of structure, gently soften the listener almost after every two songs.
Suspended In The Brume Of Eos
came as a reminder that aggressive music can easily be combined with various folk-like elements, without involving cheap imitation or being bombastic. As an album it neither reinvents the wheel nor provides the genre with innovative features. Its tight songwriting and great sense of melody though, together with the excessive technicality, are evidence that Obsequiae are able of composing excellent material in the near future.