Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed (Review)

Majesties - Vast Reaches UnclaimedThis is the debut album from US death metal band Majesties.

Brought to us by members of Inexorum and Obsequiae, Vast Reaches Unclaimed delivers 39 minutes of melodic death metal played in the classic, old-school Gothenburg style. Continue reading “Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed (Review)”

Label Roundup: Black Mass Prayers – Lykten, Urluk, & Valadier (Reviews)

Wonderbox Metal gets sent a lot of new music, (which is great), but there’s no way that everything can get covered unfortunately, (which is not so great). This new column hopes to redress this balance, if only slightly, by taking a look at a handful of releases that a record label has recently sent out that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

For this edition we turn to Black Mass Prayers, an Italian label that states it is “supporting the Italian Black Metal underground and aiming to spread its glory worldwide”. Neither other the label nor the bands on it were familiar to me prior to this, so it felt like a good time to dig in and explore what they had to offer… Continue reading “Label Roundup: Black Mass Prayers – Lykten, Urluk, & Valadier (Reviews)”

Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs (Review)

ObsequiaeThis is the second album by US Black Metallers Obsequiae.

Aria of Vernal Tombs is the follow up to their first album, Suspended in the Brume of Eos.

The album features a cover that is dear to my heart as it depicts Valle Crucis Abbey, a place I’ve been to many times. With that in mind I happily pressed play and the band didn’t let me down.

Obsequiae return with another round of medieval-influenced Black Metal. They play Melodic Black Metal and have refined their melodic attack by improving on the already well-defined melodies from their début.

The production means that Obsequiae sound bigger, better and bolder this time around, but it’s not just that; the music sounds more confident and sure of itself. Something has clicked somewhere and Aria of Vernal Tombs is even more enjoyable than its predecessor.

Medieval instrumentation adds authenticity to the tunes and it merges seamlessly with the Metal. You can almost imagine this kind of Black Metal being a popular form of music all those centuries ago…almost…

This release is a nice and natural progression for Obsequiae and I hope they continue to develop in the future. The longest song here is just under 5 and a half minutes in length but I can easily imagine them writing involved songs twice that length. Here’s hoping.

For now though, slip on Aria of Vernal Tombs and become immersed.

Obsequiae – Suspended in the Brume of Eos (Review)

ObsequiaeObsequiae are from the US and play melodic Black Metal.

This is dark and atmospheric Black Metal with a strong medieval feel and influence to the melodies. Said melodies are thick and emotive, swallowing the listener and transporting them to another century.

Frequent interludes intersperse the songs, adding to the medieval theme of the album. These mini sagas add great feeling to an album already awash with melodic entreaties.

The rasped Black Metal vocals seem to glide out of the layered guitars, piercing the tuneful riffs with a harsh reality check before they quickly recover like nothing happened and it’s back in time we go once more. Not that they had Metal back in ye olde times of course, but if they had…

Imagine Dissection had they embraced the aforementioned medieval influence, this should give you a good idea of where Obsequiae are coming from.

The sound seems to flow organically and the riffs are like liquid nature distilled to their Blackest essence and allowed to root deep in the mind of the listener.

Obsequiae grow there, in the dark, quietly taking shape until they cannot be removed. Listen to Obsequiae and one day you’ll know what I mean.