Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Obsidian Kingdom "Torn and Burnt - The Mantiis Re-Mixes" Review

Artist: Obsidian Kingdom

Release: Torn and Burnt : The Mantiis Re-Mixes

Label: Free Download

Release Date: 15th November 2013

Obsidian Kingdom, a band hailing from Barcelona, described their sound as hard to classify heavy music with plenty of contrasts. Its main features are the use of multiple sound resources in order to portray a wide range of emotions; a deep interest for aesthetics and the mise-en-scène; and the sombre and cryptic quality of their lyrical topics. Defying both tradition and their Black Metal origins, they continue to tread their own path in an untiring search for their own unique style, aside from convention or style boundaries.

Even though this album is a re-mix project based on a previous release. I hazard a guess that it is not one you would expect us to feature on this blog. However, I’ve have noticed certain metal tracks which seem to ditch the guitar for atmospheric, operatic, religious or even satanic chants. It’s only natural that at some point someone would focus on this area and blend it with ambient electronica and for me that person was Kostas K whose Subheim “Dark Ambient” (as it’s known) project who brought this to life. So considering Subheim is one of the artists aboard the project and bearing in mind I’ve not heard the original I thought I’d give it a go anyway.

The album opens with a re-mix by Oktopus one of many that I’m not familiar with on the re-mix duties. The sound blends techy industrial sounds with dark brooding synths and an almost eastern sounding bass guitar to be honest I couldn’t decide weather I liked it or not. Next up, are the afore-mentioned Subheim who joins forces with Poordream they contrast ambient sounds and chorus against a slo-mo dark and dubby electro bassline imo not his best work but nice none-the-less. Necro Deathmort begins with some elongated choral sounds, soon followed by sparse drum kicks and a dark brooding synths which build a gloomy atmosphere till eventually the growling vocals build to a crescendo which is surprising followed by a well layered soothing, atmospheric ambient outro. Jr Morgue is up next and it’s quite a contrast indie like vocals are strewn over electro beats and dark synths creating a sound not a million miles away from NIN. This sets the tone of this album a real mixed bag for instance Drumcorp fuses glitchy broken hip-hop beats with reverbed bass and guitars while Larvae took me deeper into ambience with a classic piano vibe with low-frequency bass injections in the latter part of the track and I have to say I like it. Mothboy (another one I’m actually familiar with) closes the album with his genre-bending unique approach to down-tempo and I feel he may just have bagged the gold medal with this little beauty.

To summarise this may not appeal if you only like a purely ambient vibe. This really is an album of contrasts taking you from the dark to the light and back using a variety of sub-genres. However, if you’re a lover of both or fancy something a little different especially, with those long winter nights drawing in this could well be worth a listen.

Review by Woodzee


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