OBSIDIAN KINGDOM is a progressive metal outfit hailing from Barcelona, Spain. Their previous release, “A Year With No Summer” (were they predicting 2020?), dates back to 2016, and raised some heads in the scene, especially after critically acclaimed debut “Mantiis.” Heavily influenced by post-rock, they brought an atmospheric sound to the forefront that had its moments of excellence, but still had some room for change. Latest effort “Meat Machine” marks their third studio album, released on 25 September 2020 through French label Season of Mist.
After the first listen, it is clear to me that this is a much less atmospheric, and much more aggressive album. It really packs a punch, sporting many different styles, but mostly staying on the heavy side. However, there are some breathers in the form of melancholic, soothing melodies that are a throwback to earlier work. All of this makes for an immersive record that makes you want to hit play time and time again, so you don’t miss any of the fascinating details.
With themes exploring feelings of anxiety derived from the absurdity of reality and the inherent cruelty of a mechanised world, this is no lighthearted walk in the park, but rather a headfirst plunge into this society’s darkness. These “masters of every genre” take their contrasting sound and twist it into something equally twisted, ready to blow all of our minds. Taking previous records into account, OBSIDIAN KINGDOM never fails to surprise their audience with new invigorating ideas in songwriting and musicianship.
“Meat Machine” is like a meat grinder of genres, turning them into a yummy experimental dish for all of you alternative metal gourmets. The explosive rage of appetizer “The Edge” is alternated by the calming vocals of Jade Riot Cul, who also has some impressive skills on the synths to showcase. “The Pump” takes an entirely different turn, adding some hardcore grooves into the meaty mix. Some cleverly inserted electronica in “Womb Of Wire” creates another extraordinary vibe, quite reminiscent of 90s alternative bands like DEFTONES. The twists and turns keep coming, at times when the listener least expects it. The many rhythm shifts complimented by awe-inspiring riffs, courtesy of both original member Rider G Omega and newbie Viral Vector Lips, unequivocally put the OBSIDIAN KINGDOM stamp on this newest album.
OBSIDIAN KINGDOM‘s songwriting is enigmatic, cinematic, and out of this world. The band has matured and shaped their sound into something so original that it turns out to be extremely difficult to describe. So, let yourself be intrigued and swept away by this journey of self-discovery, without overanalysing the wide array of sounds and styles coming your way. Just ride it like a wave, an emotional rollercoaster that will eventually put both of your feet back on the ground where they belong.
Written by Jana De Boeck
- The Edge
- The Pump
- Mr Pan
- Naked Politics
- Flesh World
- Meat Star
- Womb Of Wire
- A Foe
Rider G Omega – Guitars, Vocals
Ojete Mordaza II – Drums, Beats
Om Rex Orale – Bass
Viral Vector Lips – Guitars
Jade Riot Cul – Synths, Vocals
Season of Mist