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Obelyskkh

Hymn to Pan

(Exile on Mainstream; US: 24 Sep 2013; UK: 2 Sep 2013)

Sludgy Doom Metal With A Twist Or Two

Doom-metal maestros Obelyskkh are here to rock your world, or if not to rock it exactly, then at least to melt it into a puddle of steaming, acidic sludge. Listeners who find that image appealing will want to check out Hymn to Pan, an appropriately pagan-themed slow-burn of a record that wastes little time grinding its way to the core of one’s soul (assuming one has a soul, which is an open question at this point). Outstanding 10-minute lead track “Hymn to Pan” sets the tone with its air of menace and layers of molten, slow-moving distortion, but Obelyskkh are not simply repetitive chord-bashers; they spice up their sounds with unexpected bits of keyboard and spaced-out interludes.


Standout track “The Ravens” sees a tempo shift into something verging on the upbeat—that being a relative term, of course—while the epic closing track “Revelation: The Will to Nothingness” sees fit to stretch on for more than 23 minutes of oozing doom, with occasional interludes of string-bending and keyboard noodling. This is a strong album overall, and it’s recommended for listeners in search of a soundtrack to the pagan apocalypse.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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