Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Under: Album Reviews
From: Lunar Hypnosis Webzine
Published: August 26, 2013
The majority of the time one-man black metal bands are just a bad idea. Massachusetts based band, Obsidian Tongue, has their roots as originally being formed as Brendan Hayter's one-man band, but more than likely realizing his limitations and silliness of using a drum machine, drummer Greg Murphy stepped in before the band even released their first recording. 2010 marked the bands lone demo, which was followed by their debut full-length, 'Volume I: Subradiant Architecture,' in '12 and most recently through Hypnotic Dirge Records their sophomore effort, 'A Nest of Ravens In the Throat of Time.'
'Brothers in the Stars' kicks off the album and within a few minutes it becomes obvious that these guys are fans of newer Enslaved albums, so much so that the cleanly sung parts throughout the song seem to deliberately mimic the Norwegian legends to a t. So, yes, were dealing with a more progressive brand of black metal here, which also bares its fair similarities to the likes of Agalloch, Wolves in the Throne Room, some pre-Still Life Opeth and probably any other progressive-ish or Cascadian metal (whatever the fuck that is) band you can think of. Nevertheless, Obsidian Tongue, delivers an honest album here.
The songs generally move through speedier dissonant black metal passages to occasionally more melodic territories and then towards the progressive parts and even down some doomier avenues. It might not sound like much, but there's honestly enough variations and well done riff work as well as competent drumming to really make it an enjoyable listen. Some brief acoustics and synth here and there are a welcomed addition too. Plus factor in that the album is well recorded, and by no means really sounds underground or typically straightforward black metal at any given time. Yep, this isn't the sort of black metal that, that weird friend of yours that has boots up to his knees would listen too, but rather more of the sort for those that crave talented musicianship and emotion through their music.
I guess what just gets me is the sometimes blatant similarities. The already mentioned Enslaved comparison shines throughout the disc, as well some Morningrise-era Opeth parts are here and there, and the song with John Haughm of Agalloch singing doesn't sound entirely different from something Agalloch might do themselves. So, originality isn't their strong side, but as I've already said the songs are diverse enough, the riffs are surely there, and the musicianship and genuine emotion is all over this baby. Apparently the band also pulls this off as a two-man live assault too, which is surely admirable.
In the end I could say that, 'A Nest of Ravens In the Throat of Time' is a solid album, if you fancy those bands I mentioned you'd best be all over this one. No, its not a masterpiece, its almost there, but the band needs to create their own sound and stop feeding off their influences so strongly.
Reviewed by: Joseph Mlodik
In : Album Reviews
Tags: obsidian tongue nest of ravens throat of time atmospheric primal prganic black metal massachusetts john haughm agalloch subradiant architecture autolatry alda panopticon falls of rauros