This is the fifth album from German doom metallers Obelyskkh.
Ahh, finally Obelyskkh have returned to dispense mammoth-sized doom to the masses. The Providence came out in 2017, which was an age ago, and 2013’s Hymn to Pan was even further back in the mists of time. So, what do Obelyskkh have to offer in 2023?
The answer is a monstrous 71 minutes of sludge doom. It’s heavy, ripe with psychedelic workouts, and riven with huge riffs. Obelyskkh mean business here, that’s for sure.
The music is gorgeously fuzzy. The guitars sound like they are leaking distortion out of the speakers, while venomous screams and belligerent roars assault the heavens. This is Obelyskkh at their most raw and unpolished, and they sound pissed. Imagine a punk band if they converted to the worship of the DOOOOOM gods and were then corrupted by the sludge underworld.
Of course, despite the anger you can near-tangibly feel on these songs, there’s more to The Ultimate Grace of God than just that. The music takes you on a journey into doomed darkness, crafting atmosphere from simple ingredients that can immerse and hypnotise. Obelyskkh’s atmospheric proclivities are well-catered for, and the album strikes a balance between crushing heaviness and mood-rich musical journeys.
Each song has a wealth of ideas and creativity on display, (including the use of different instruments, sounds, and styles), and the stripped-back raw delivery only emphasises these aspects further. Obelyskkh can clearly write a drawn-out song, but to fully hold the listener’s interest they need to be actual good pieces of music, with textured detail that compels the listener to pay attention. Obelyskkh have achieved that on The Ultimate Grace of God, presenting seven tracks that are all worlds unto themselves.
Well, the wait for Obelyskkh’s return has been worth it. The Ultimate Grace of God is a great example of a band producing a large amount of content with relatively straightforward ingredients, powered by good songwriting and ideas. All hail Obelyskkh, may their sludgy doom swamp us all.