Okay, here's something you don't see every day: "Hailing from the great Northern end of Minnesota, the band Obsequiae creates a unique, organic blend of dark, melodic black and death metal infused with traditional medieval music." Um...okay. Believe me, I was as confused as you may be right now. I mean, how does that work?
But if there's anything us metalheads have learned, it's the power of metal to bring together so many disparate sounds into something greater than the sum of its parts. And that's what duo Blondel de Nesle (Guitar, Vocals) and Andrieu Contredit d'Arras (Drums, Bass) do on their debut album, Suspended In The Brume Of Eos. Right off the bat, the opening track Altars of Moss cleverly melds a lute melody over a death metal dirge as de Nesle rages over it. And damned if it doesn't work, sounding both ancient and modern all at the same time. Granted the mix is a bit muddy and the heavily reverbed vocals get lost amongst the wall of sound, but I take that as a given with most of this subgenre.
My one complaint would be the mix. I don't know how this was put together or the constraints involved, but it sounds as if it were all recorded live in a stone room. And the reverby nature of it all plays havoc with the dynamics, making it all the more difficult to discern instrumental differences - something I think is key considering the medieval instruments in use.
The Bottom Line: Proving once more that metal is easily the most prolific and genre-hopping musical genre of all time, Obsequiae deftly melds medieval music and doom metal into a seemless new subgenre that retains the melodic novelty of the former and the driving rhythyms of the latter. All in all, some pretty impressive shit. Can't wait to hear more!
Tracks To Make You Want To Install A Humbucker In Your Lute: Altars of Moss, In The White Fields, Atonement, and Cabin Lights
- Genghis doesn't really need a lute, but he would like to get an oud...