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Obsidian Sea – ‘Pathos’

Publisher
Ripple Music
FFO
Saint Vitus, Iron Butterfly, Witchcraft, Astra
Release Date
04/02/2022
Publisher
Ripple Music
Genre
Doom Metal

Before the world went crazy, we had a romantic city break in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. On our wander round the restaurants and bars we came across a tucked away doorway with some amazing music emanating from within. This was The Delta Blues Bar, the fuzz-heavy Blues we heard was that evening’s artist having a sound check. One of the many bill posters was for a local band, “Obsidian Sea”. Their show was the night we were leaving, but I liked the name, and checked them out later.

Fast forward four (mainly crazy) years, and the band’s latest album lands in my in-tray. Another space-y album of Doom-tinged Heavy Rock? Yes, and no. There has been some progression since 2019’s “Strangers” album; progression being the operative word. “Pathos” sees the band unapologetically adding some quality dollops of early Progressive Metal into their sound. There’s even a hint of traditional Blues.

The structure of the songs is either clunky, or innovative. Disparate sections and motifs ebb and flow against each other in a seemingly haphazard fashion. On repeated listens I suggest this isn’t an accident or song writing naivety; what first seems longer than the 40-minute run time shortens considerably with familiarity. The odd changes from Maiden-esque galloping bassline to Stoner influenced sludgy riffs and Prog solos makes this an album intended to be savoured over a good few listens.

In a minor niggle, one aspect of the running order detracts from the flow of the album; last track “The Meaning of Shadows” sticks out like a sore thumb with a jarring change of pacing and tonality. Unless; maybe it’s intended as a preview for what’s to come next?

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