Obscure Verses for the Multiverse



by kvltwalter USER (37 Reviews)
December 29th, 2013 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Obscure verses indeed

As a genre that was originally deeply insular and based on a predictable sound and rigid visual aesthetic, it’s amazing how black metal has evolved into one of the most versatile and ever-changing subgenres of metal. It is a style that was, at its inception, so raw, primal, and visceral that almost any type of music you can think of can be thrown on top of it and It will work itself out into an interesting new sound. We have seen black metal over its lifespan dabble in symphonic music, progressive rock, industrial, death metal and other related forms of metal, ambient, folk, post hardcore, and even sounds bordering on pop music (Remember Nachtmystium’s Addicts") and a few of these fusions have even grown large enough to be called their own micro-genres. Amongst all this labeling, however, are some bands that are hard to fit into any shoe or, in this case, any spiky leather boot that’s been recognized by metal fans as a viable genre. Columbia’s main black metal export Inquisition, whose latest album defies categorization outside of just “black metal”, is one of those bands.

While not fitting into any of these newfangled genre tags such as “black ambient” or “blackgaze”, Obscure Verses for the Multiverse has a sound that cannot be described as traditional black metal either. It’s an album that’s sonically familiar yet feels new at the same time giving off a sense of discovery while simultaneously feeling “at home” in the genre. Maybe it’s the warbling univibe effect on the guitars lying beneath vocals that sound like Abbath from Immortal, or maybe it’s the string bending notes that wouldn’t be out of place on a Lynard Skynard album amongst standard-issue blazing blast beats. Whatever it might be, Obscure Verses takes the familiar and reimagines it without making its influences blindingly clear to the listener. The guitar work is fresh with melodies that range from off-kilter, atonal weirdness and harsh, grinding chords to riffs that are strangely catchy and will be lingering around in your brain long after the album is over. The drumming is equally unpredictable with rapid-fire double kicks and blasting that will suddenly give way to infectious mid-paced grooves. The band seems to use traditional black metal as a strong point of reference, but by no means follows any sort of checklist when crafting their material. The resulting album is a collection of strong tracks that can come off as a little strange, mildly scary, and predictably abrasive, yet still come across as a package of pure headbanging enjoyment.

Obscure Verses may not be a revolution for black metal by any means, but it presents just enough innovation to warrant the attention of anyone who cares about this constantly evolving style. The album’s unorthodox guitar work alone should be enough of an invite to listen, and once at the table, go ahead and devour its wealth of substance and savor its freshness. Whatever mini-micro genre this album will be categorized under, it shouldn’t be overlooked that this album mainly fits under the words “enjoyable”, “excellent”, and even “fun”, and maybe that’s where it should be left.

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user ratings (151)
other reviews of this album
JamesLentil (3.5)
Inquisition continues to create solid music. While it’s nothing new, one cannot deny that’s it...

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 29th 2013


They have good riffs and everything but I can't really enjoy this. It's too repetitive and comes across as weirdly awkward. Good review, though.

Contributing Reviewer
December 29th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

really great review

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