Friday, December 7, 2012

Obsidian Kingdom - Mantiis

Spanish band Obsidian Kingdom state on their bandcamp that their music is hard to classify heavy music with plenty of contrast. Stating that your music is difficult to classify can often work against you because there are no easy reference points for a potential listener or reviewer. However Obsidian Kingdom are correct that they fit almost directly under the heavy metal umbrella. Although they're not afraid to wander off into other and explore and incorporate other musical directions.

Obsidian Kingdom's "Mantiis" album introduces itself to a listener as post-metal with "Not Yet Five" and like all post-metal, it would be the perfect instrumental soundtrack to a rainy day whether rooted in reality, film or a documentary. "Oncoming Dark" sounds like a Peter Murphy tune due to the vocals and acoustic guitar but the drumming defies gothic or pop tendencies as it is firmly entrenched in heavy metal. Black metal rears its ugly head in "Cinnamon Balls" and attacking riffs that veer towards groove metal bring the track to its conclusion.

Unlike a lot of post-metal, "The Nurse" swings towards jazz although this shift comes very late in the track and doesn't continue long enough. "Answers Revealed" starts as a progressive rock track but finishes with a bite of chunky metallic slab. Is there black metal jazz fusion? As far as I know there's only Sigh but in "Last of the Light" Obsidian Kingdom throw their name into the gauntlet as they incorporate jazz, black metal and Latin rhythms. There's also more of the black metal jazz fusion approach in "Endless Wall". Although I haven't listened to Queensryche in years, the quiet yet still heavy "Fingers in Anguish" brings Geoff Tate's crew's softer moments in the late eighties to mind. It's clear that this album was intended to be listened to as a whole when the last song"And Then It Was" commences with the lines "When the music over, turn off the lights". The song itself starts with clean singing but that doesn't last long at all before a black metal journey unfolds.

Much like the aforementioned Sigh, Obsidian Kingdom join them as heavy metal artists that are able to mesh styles yet manage not only to keep the listener interested in what's around the corner by continuously offering surprises but also own the sound that they have created. The album, "Mantiis" is free from the band's bandcamp site and because Obsidian Kingdom are feirce belivers on free digital music online, their entire discography is up for download.

There is also a nice looking digi-pack CD offered at a price.


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