Obscure Sphinx
Void Mother


4.5
superb

Review

by Pistol Pete USER (31 Reviews)
May 31st, 2014 | 13 replies | 1,935 views


Release Date: 11/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The eerie and evil beginnings of a possible new post-metal titan.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Post-Metal seems to be at a place where it lacks a true leader to forge its path, with many of the genre’s classic albums long since passed. Now that Isis is gone and Cult of Luna’s status is in question, there really isn’t a band carrying the genre anymore. Neurosis and The Ocean are still around, but the most recent albums from both were neither terrible nor anything truly groundbreaking. I’m not arguing Obscure Sphinx is the new undisputed leader of post-metal, don’t be mistaken. It’s too early in their career to expect that from them. But if their sophomore effort Void Mother is any indication, the band might well be on their way to becoming one.

This female-fronted Polish band employs a lethal mix of post-metal with hints of doom and sludge layered throughout their expansive and often lengthy tracks. Every so often, you’ll also get a slab of slower-tempo djent reminiscent of Meshuggah. It's bleak, it's depressing, and it's goddamn gorgeous. Void Mother is a natural progression from their earlier debut Anaesthetic Inhalation Ritual, a similar but more fine-tuned version that dares to do just a bit more. As is typical with bands of this nature, this is not an album you can just play and understand in one sitting. It requires the listener to absorb the album over time. And when I say “absorb”, what I really mean is you have to sit down and simply take it for a few listens while the band delivers crushing onslaughts of bone-chilling riffs and harsh vocals, the latter coming from its ferocious and talented front woman Zofia Fras. Tracks like “Feverish” and “Nasciturus” see her impressively transitioning between abrasive screams and singing that could be as accessible as anything off a Lacuna Coil album.

The talent of Obscure Sphinx goes beyond just the vocals. They are truly a complete package, the instrumentation being equally as powerful. The opening sections of “Lunar Caustic” bring back feelings of Neurosis with the way the song creepily slithers into form over the opening minute and evolves into a terrifying beast of a track. The bass is often used to instill an eerie atmosphere as it does in the brilliantly executed “Waiting For The Bodies Down The River Floating”. This song is built up over the course of its eleven minutes with the precision of a true craftsman. But just like the post-metal titans of old, it’s the eventual peaks the band reaches that truly make this album spectacular, the one from closer “The Presence of Goddess” being the most shiver-inducing of the bunch. It’s the longest song on the album, but also the best-paced. It showcases everything all in one song, constantly changing pace from the ear-splitting and ferocious highs to the deep brooding lows. When Fras delivers one of the final refrains of “I feel your grace” and lets her voice slowly disappear into the epic storm of guitars and haunting choirs, the feeling is that of satisfaction. This band knows how to finish an album off in style. Void Mother is a complete package, reminding you of what you used to love about all the genres it incorporates while staying true to its own unique sound. And by the sounds of it, an even more terrifying storm could be looming.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
PistolPete
May 31st 2014



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I will say though, some of the song titles on this album read a bit ESL. "Waiting For The Bodies Down The River Floating"? "The Presence of Goddess"? Yeah...

Fantastic album, nuff said.

Digging: Nothing More - Nothing More

manosg
May 31st 2014



5683 Comments


Very good review man, pos. You really got me interested so I'll give this album a spin at some point.

Digging: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

TheBarber
May 31st 2014



1626 Comments


ugh that artwork though

Digging: Lilys - Eccsame The Photon Band

Sniff
May 31st 2014



1092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm. You really like this huh?

PistolPete
May 31st 2014



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought it was unreal. I can imagine though, with all the male-fronted post-metal bands, that it
might be a tad bizarre to hear more feminin vocals. But it didn't bother me at all, and after several
listens I really couldn't imagine them sounding any different.

yeah artwork is important to me too, I don't hate this although it definitely doesn't match some of
the greats (Through Silver in Blood album art comes to mind)

Sniff
May 31st 2014



1092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Kultika/53780/

Calc
May 31st 2014



11959 Comments


obscure sphinxter

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

PistolPete
May 31st 2014



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Sniff, I'll check em out.

TheBarber
May 31st 2014



1626 Comments


Pistol Pete you should check out Made Out Of Babies - Ruiner, not exactly post-metal but punky sludge with unreal vocals from a sexy madwoman (no harsh vocals but manic cleans)

TheCrocodile
May 31st 2014



212 Comments


Really liked this album. And the intro is spot on, it's as if no one exactly knowns how to push this genre to the next step and be inspirational and shit for other bands.

Devastator
June 1st 2014



2452 Comments


Album art is creepy as hell to me.

PistolPete
June 1st 2014



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Creepy Moth ladies!!!

AaronIsCrunchy
June 18th 2014



15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Creepy in the best possible way. I don't normally go for female-fronted metal, but her voice has just
the right amount of harshness when needed to make this. And those cleans...

The riffs are very Cult of Luna I think. Not that that's a problem, you understand.

EDIT: My hairs just stood up on end listening to this. I don't know if they've EVER done that
listening to music before.

Digging: Entropia (PL) - Vesper



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