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Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Award winner

The Palms of Sorrowed Kings
by Justin “Witty City” Wittenmeier at 17 November 2019, 10:55 PM

OBSEQUIAE is a Melodic Black Metal band from Minnesota. “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings,” is their third full length album and they also have a Demo. The atmosphere of this album is definitely grandiose with a lot of different layers that build each other up. At the foundation of it is Black Metal—not too raw but definitely nothing shiny either.  It makes for a solid base for the rest to lay atop of and also ensure that no matter how wide the band’s vision gets or how intricate the melodies are played, “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings,” remains firmly rooted in the darker side of music. I also hear Doom as well—and definitely medieval music. There is use of a medieval harp, courtesy of Vicente but that isn’t the only aspect from the era. The Medieval time period featured several different types of music including Melismatic organum, where one part of music moves around a single note.

OBSEQUIAE have shown themselves to be experts in this, creating music that feels like it is moving.  The heavier and more melodic aspects of the band are constantly playing off each other. Tanner Anderson’s vocals and Eoghan McCloskey’s drums are the most ferocious aspects of the band and the ones that really bring that Black Metal sound to the mix. Anderson’s guitars and bass are both very melodic but not in a simple way.  Basic riffs with melodic lines of notes peppered throughout is not what is presented —no, this album has the melodies totally weaved throughout the music in a seamless presentation.

Their combination of Black Metal, Doom, and Medieval techniques really makes them sound unique to my ears—very organic with smooth flow and transitions.  Not a moment of time is wasted on this album; every note, every riff, melody, and each instrument serves the purpose of building up the song as a whole.

The opening track “L’autrier m’en aloie,” is made up of quiet, clean tones from the harp and basically serves as an intro but it blends into the first proper track, “Ceres In Emerald Streams.” The band wastes no time in showcasing the musical depth they create with their melodic touches brushed against the canvas of Black and Doom Metal.  The first half of the track definitely focuses on the more melodic guitar but the latter half takes a heavier approach.

Morrigan,” is a track of rumbling double bass, groove oriented riffs, and melodic bass.  The melodic leads come alive the most when the Blackened shrieks appear, two different worlds colliding into an even better one.  The track’s ending are those two elements rising and falling together for a strong finish.  “Asleep In The Bracken,” is probably my favorite track here because I really feel it represents everything the band is about.  The melodies speed and slow down as the tempo does the same; the song is just cleverly put together and beautiful in execution.

OBSEQUIAE have crafted a unique blend of several genres while stepping outside the lines of each one. “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings,” is an album that has a lot of offer with many nooks and crannies to discover along the way; this is one of those albums that is made for many, many repeated listens—that will be enjoyed each time.

Musicanship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. L'autrier m'en aloie
2. Ceres in Emerald Streams
3. In the Garden of Hyacinths
4. Palästinalied
5. The Palms of Sorrowed Kings
6. Morrígan
7. Per tropo fede
8. Lone Isle
9. Asleep in the Bracken
10. Quant voi la flor novele
11. Emanations Before the Pythia
12. In hoc anni circulo
Tanner Anderson – Guitars, Vocals, and Bass
Vicente La Camera Marino – Medieval harp
Eoghan McCloskey - Drums
Record Label: 20 Buck Spin


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