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Obscure Sphinx
Anaesthetic Inhalation Ritual


3.5
great

Review

by PistolPete USER (51 Reviews)
January 28th, 2018 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


There are few bands in the metal genre as ambitious as Polish band Obscure Sphinx when it comes to employing multiple genres into their music. If one had to categorize them, the closest you could get is some fusion of post/doom-metal with eight-string guitars sprinkling djent influence here and there. Nowadays, the band can even be heard branching into black metal and grind, sacrificing absolutely nothing in terms of quality by so doing. However, back on their debut album Anaesthetic Inhalation Ritual, the list of influences were as simple as they got; namely, progressive metal, post-metal, and djent.

There’s a reason acts like Tool pop up when this band’s name circulates around the site. They are certainly the primary foundation Obscure Sphinx use to construct their earlier sound on here and the record plays out like a Tool album with a more metal flavour. On a song like “Nastiez”, the instruments are what bring this to mind the way the band slowly allows the song to materialize; systematically bringing in guitars, cymbals, weightier percussions, and finally the whispers and maniacal wails of front woman Zofia Fras. On the second part of “Bleed in Me”, it’s the vocals that portray the perfect balance of melody and aggression that Maynard Keenan commanded back in the day. Closer “Paragnomen”, the strongest song on this album, jumps frequently between latter-day Tool (think Lateralus and 10,000 Days) and more standard post-metal in what is an absolutely thrilling closing track.

To be certain, there is more at work here than just Tool. When both “Nastiez” and “Bleed in Me, Pt. 2” really get up and running in their later stages, the Meshuggah influence starts to appear in grandiose fashion. All members of the band work to supply their audience with appetizing onslaughts of distorted riffs. On “Eternity”, the build-up has a very old-school Neurosis feel, like something off their masterpiece Through Silver in Blood. Fras’ vocals are an entirely different beast too. When she’s not singing in her tantalizing cleans, she absolutely shreds her vocal chords with shrieks that wouldn’t be so out of place in black metal. It’s really difficult to imagine the band without her, as she adds a sense of both theatricality and fury that compliments the music perfectly.

At the end of the day, it’s amazing that Anaesthetic Inhalation Ritual was actually the starting point for this band. It sounds as tight as most bands dream of being by maybe their second or third album. What’s hard to ignore though is just how close to their influences they still sounded (if my endless comparisons above didn’t already give that impression). They ultimately fix that in future albums, but here they hadn’t fully carved out their niche yet and it’s really the one blemish of the entire record. Still, the metal behemoth that is Obscure Sphinx today rears its head a few times throughout this. Their debut is undoubtedly something worth checking out if they’ve already caught your ear or if you are generally just a huge fan of their influences. You won’t be disappointed.



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user ratings (56)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
PistolPete
January 28th 2018


5278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album needed a review and they're one of my favourite modern metal bands. I could not think of anything snappy to write in the summary though so I just left it blank....maybe I'll think of something later.

teamster
January 28th 2018


5941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One of my fav bands, this album put them on post metal map and Void Mother elevated them to elite status. Excellent review PP and thanks.

OmairSh
May 2nd 2020


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Okay the Bleed combo is really good. Never listened to this album before





Digging: Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation

teamster
May 2nd 2020


5941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Post metal Omair? Trying to remember if you dig it, lol.

80timesthe80
May 2nd 2020


142 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like this album is being underrated among their discog. Bleed in me, nastiez and eternity are all great songs.

PistolPete
May 2nd 2020


5278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Omair has been listening to me rant for months now about how post metal is my reason for being XD good to see you’re checking out some though this band is among my faves

OmairSh
May 2nd 2020


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahah! True true



Well I'm not a heavy consumer of post metal, but I like the rawness and grittiness of it, especially after listening to overproduced modern metal.



The only things that deter it from possibly being a regular genre of mine is the consistent tempo throughout (some variation would be nice) and song lengths (I'm losing my ability to listen to too many lengthy songs I feel. Old Omair that loved 20 minute songs would be shocked by that haha)

parksungjoon
May 2nd 2020


44630 Comments


if you're looking for bands that dont just plod all throughout, i recommend latitudes and pelican

PistolPete
May 2nd 2020


5278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Mire also had nice digestible length songs back when they were still around. But I would start with their split with Chronos and then their own album “Vol 2” after. That way you get their most melodic stuff first.

OmairSh
May 3rd 2020


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool, thanks for the recs guys!



Cool Pete, yeah I definitely like melody in the mix so that sounds intriguing

teamster
May 3rd 2020


5941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Try Ghost Brigade Omair.

OmairSh
May 4th 2020


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love Isolation Songs by them. 4 was pretty decent from what I remember

OmairSh
June 3rd 2020


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bleeeeeed



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