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Obsidian Tongue - Volume III Award winner

Obsidian Tongue
Volume III
by James Brizuela at 30 July 2019, 1:25 AM

OBSIDIAN TONGUE, a black metal duo out of Massachusetts returns with their long-awaited new album “Volume III”. I can say with full confidence that this album was worth the six-year wait. OBSIDIAN TONGUE delivers one of the most uniquely melodic and atmospheric black metal sounds I have ever heard. I found myself completely enthralled by the beautiful blending of the prototypical vile sounding black metal that was coupled with the beautiful melodious clean vocals. The more I listened to each track the more I was completely blown away by the musical composition. Even though the album sits at a mere five tracks, the substance of those tracks the journey you are taken on makes you feel as though you have sat through a 15-track epic.
There is so much richness to every track. Starting with “Anatkh”, the feel right from the beginning of the track was one of wonderment. The beautiful guitar melody made me feel really at ease, which isn’t the case for most black metal. The beautiful clean vocals came in almost like a Gregorian chant. Then you get hit with the vile black metal sound. It is not off-putting being followed up from the melodic sound that preceded it. They just work together so well and the composition is so perfect. The track sits at almost 15 minutes, but I just found myself so enthralled by it. The numerous tempo changes from the melodic sound to the black metal sound worked at every single level.

As I began to come down off the high from the initial track, “Coda – Child in Ice” comes in with a beautiful piano melody that is completely removed from the rest of the album. It is just another level of the musicianship that is delivered by OBSIDIAN TONGUE. This is that purely atmospheric sound you get treated to before being taken on another journey. “Empath” begins that next journey with some clean vocals and melodic simple guitar melody. Then the vile vocals come in and bring in that other dimension of musical prowess. I would say this is the more brutal track of the album, but then there is a blending of that beautiful melodic sound. The track also contains some backing vocals from a woman that add to the amazing feel of the song. It is put together so well. “Poison Green Death” has a beautiful guitar melody that is placed into a melodious sound with the vile black metal vocals. Even when the track sounds like it’s going to be mostly the prototypical black metal sound, the clean backing vocals come in and just add more depth. I love when bands find ways to work with genres in an innovative way and deliver a fresh sound.

Return to the Fields of Violet” caps off this special album with some purely raw and atmospheric sounds. The Gregorian chant like vocals return with the brutal black metal sound that permeates this entire album. I would say this track has the calmest melody of all of them, but still delivers on the captivating sound. The entire album delivered a sense of wonderment for me. From headbanging to staring into space while being driven on this atmospheric journey, the entirety of the album left me speechless. This is some very innovative music.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Anatkh
2. Coda – Child in Ice
3. Empath
4. Poison Green Dream
5. Return to the Fields of Violet
Brendan James Hayter – Guitars, Vocals
Greg Murphy – Drums
Record Label: Bindrune Recordings


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Edited 30 September 2020

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