Enthroned – Obsidium
Label: Agonia Records
A diabolic offering from one of the world’s most steadfast black metal bands, Obsidium gets better the louder you crank your stereo. It will most likely be on my playlists for a while. Oh yeah, and make sure to check out my forthcoming interview with Nornagest.
The songs flow well from one to another, and each one has something to offer. The first track, “Sepulchred Within Opaque Slumber”, is the most engaging—opening with a brief choral intro, and blasting into agonizing (in a good way) black metal with a few crusty hooks that help make it fun and easy to enjoy.
You can definitely tell they’ve been playing their instruments for a very long time. The drums are tight and unrelenting, the guitars do their job, even if the riffs aren’t technical or innovative. But hey, this is black metal. Fuck you.
The production value of Obsidium sounds very… digital. The instruments are so tight an on time that I can only assume they recorded to a click track. But it sounds heavy and powerful, and the mechanical sound is not necessarily a bad thing. But it does take away from the “occult” feel which Enthroned is trying to achieve. I don’t know if I should chalk it up to Nornagest or the producer, but the vocals sound devastatingly vicious and evil.
Mood (Hatred): 4/5
Presentation (Ferocity): 5/5
The mood is trying to compliment the occult theme of the lyrics. At times it succeeds—especially the backing choir, even if at times it seems a bit trite. Overall, the mechanically rigid production quality, constant blast beats, and demonesque vocals leaves you with a hateful pit in your heart.
Origin (Tradition): 4/5
Enthroned may not be one of the original trend-setting black metal bands, but they’ve been carrying their own torch since the early ’90s. They’ve had to deal with some of the fucked up shit (such as suicide) that many of those other “important” bands have, but unlike so many of those bands, they’re still doing what they originally set out to do—make good fucking black metal.