I don’t know what Barcelona, Spain is like in reality. But whenever some who’s be talks about it, it always seems to carry this air of a majestic, beautiful, romantic city. Maybe it’s not like that at all, but it seems an apt point of comparison for a band from the city, especially one as majestic and powerful as OBSIDIAN KINGDOM. “Mantiis” is basically what happens when five talented musicians get around a table, with no musical biases, and try to make something mad, crazy and brilliant.
The atmosphere in this album never stays still, there’s soothing, simple three chord piano rhythms, and powerful extreme metal complete with harsh vocals. By not allowing themselves to get tied down to any one genre (save the relatively ambiguous ones of Post-metal or Experimental Metal). Overall I would say that it has a predominantly toned down vibe, broken by sudden forays into the more extreme department. A good example of this would be the shift from the end of “Answers Revealing” into the start of “Last Of The Light”, which itself then calms back down after a minute or so into a minimalist atmosphere of cosmic brilliance and relaxed, chilled out guitar work which gives a very Spanish vibe at times, at around the three minute mark, giving even more variation to the record.
This in itself exemplifies my next point, the album needs to be listened to as a whole, there’s no track on it that I would always play on its own. Think of it as one long track, just with different movements, like a symphony, which would be a good way of describing “Mantiis” anyway. Or at the very least it helps imply the multitude of musical changes on offer.
These Spaniards have created an album that deserves much more than to be cast into the obscurity of the ever growing pile of Experimental Metal. It provides a range of sounds, emotions a vibes that could cover so many different sub-genres into one compact album, and what’s more, while it’s different and unclassifiable, it’s not so weird and mad to be deemed unassailable to the more conventional metal-head. Hell, it won me over pretty damn quick.
1. Not Yet Five 2. Oncoming Dark 3. Through The Glass 4. Cinnamon Balls 5. The Nurse 6. Answers Revealing 7. Last Of The Light 8. Genteel To Mention 9. Awake Until Dawn 10. Haunts Of The Underworld 11. Endless Wall Fingers In Anguish 12. Fingers In Anguish 13. Ball-Room 14. And Then It Was