Review Summary: Not a sound nor emotion is left untouched.
Of late, press releases and advertisements only seem to be used as coals for a hype train, the train that will delude inattentive listeners into buying just about anything despite the quality of the product. On the bandcamp page of a band named Obsidian Kingdom
I found the following words;
“Mantiis” embarks the listener in an eerie musical trip, noted for the coherent exploration of a wide range of styles and emotions. The band spares no sound resources in order to portray the most varied scenes; from quiet despair to utter violence “
For those unfamiliar with the band, this might seem like “just another one” of those false advertisements, but those who heard this album are already grinning from cheek to cheek after reading this. Not because it’s a lie, but because this is a severe understatement. This band themselves says their influences vary from acts Sun O)))
to Hans zimmer
, from Porcupine Tree
to Aphex Twin
and even from Godspeed You! Black Emperor
to Shining (NOR)
. And yes, a lot of influences this band names are true making it not that hard to imagine how “bizarre” this record might sound.
“then, what does it sound like?”
Their sound is build on a foundation of something located on the fine line between post-rock and post-metal. But glossed over, dressed up with the use of a lot of other genres and electronic effects. Everything from drone to progressive rock, from black metal to jazz and even post rock is present. Sometimes even in the same song, as demonstrated in the song “Last of the Light”.
While excessive genre-blending is nothing new -especially not in the rock/metal domain-, it does however do something else to separate itself from the pack. Where most bands that use a multitude of genres in their music forget to make sure it sounds and flows well (bands often lose themselves in their ambition and end up with a disjointed result), Obsidian Kingdom
’s final result is cohesive, well-structured and flows perfectly. In short, it’s a prime example of genre-blending, it’s done well and it lacks those “out-of-place” moments most bands with the same ambitions often end up with. Everything feels like it belongs together, making it sound less bizarre than what it actually is.
Mantiis feels more like a single huge track consisting of multiple movements, all of which form a collection of 14 songs, which together span a total playtime of 47 minutes. Most songs are also in reach of the 3 minute mark, and while they’re short they never feel like they’re “just filler”. Some undeniably serve as interludes, but even those songs have their owns moments of originality and creativity.
These Spanish musicians must have obviously been brewing this record for quite some time because the genre blending is flawless, the song progression is imaginative, the diversity is immense and the final result is surprisingly captivating. The few less-than-stellar moments drag the score down with just a little, but it would be wrong to rate this anything less than the following score. 4,25/5
- The Nurse
- Last Of The Light
- And then It Was