Obscure Sphinx - Void Mother review
|Release date:||November 2013|
01. Lunar Caustic
03. Waiting For The Bodies Down The River Floating
09. The Presence Of Goddess
Metal Storm helped me discover this band, one that, as you will soon realize, I have been completely and utterly seduced by.
There is something to be said when a band creates something worthy of the term "original". Even more so can be said when the term can go hand-in-hand with "flawless", or "near perfect" at least. Though originality is never quite 100% true in most cases - and often times it not necessarily good - this is one case where it works exceedingly well, even if it's not devoid of noticeable influences (which is in no way a negative). Obscure Sphinx have tapped into something primal and something complex. At times primitive and at others beautifully immersive, decadent and yet shamelessly celebrated. The music here reverberates with dark intention, brooding fear, and unbridled anger and never lets the listener get comfortable with any one emotional scenery.
Void Mother cares little for tradition in any form, showing no concern for structure or reason and even less for feeling a need to explain it. Songs flow freely, sometimes returning to a riff or melody and often times never touching them again. Everything feels like it happens because it's meant to, regardless if you want it to or not. The album opener "Lunar Caustic" starts off with familiarity, a normalized song structure (kind of) that flows into a beautiful two and-a-half-minute instrumental with long sustained guitars; clean chords echoing with little support from anyone aside from the beautifully pained screams of Zofia Fras, the vocalist. "Waiting For the Bodies Down the River Floating" comes in with what you can expect the rest of your journey to be: unpredictable.
Whether it be the low and impacting rhythms of the 8 string guitars driving you into oblivion, or the clean sections making the journey deceptively easy into hell, the music is an ever evolving creature that showcases the full spectrum and duality of their instruments. Making full use of their range, the twin guitar attack moves seamlessly between dissonant rhythms, beautiful chordal melodies, and the signature "popping" rhythms 8 strings are known for. The bass is monstrous, hearing the low end rumble out over the droning guitars at parts is gorgeous, the melancholic melodies of "Waiting for The Bodies..." lulling you deceitfully into the prelude of the destruction to come. Drums frantically pound away, aggressive attacks giving way to dynamic rhythmic passages.
The vocals, and lyrics by comparison, are a stand-out feature to me. Zofia Fras jumps between the calm and seductive and the hateful and angry. As you can guess I am noting she is making use of both clean and harsh vocals, and they mesh perfectly well with the flow of lyrics which are, ironically, quite obscure. Vague pictures echoing dread and despair, and sorrowful beauty. Should you be a person who takes an active interest in the lyrics, I believe this will add another dimensions to the music and the overall experience for you.
The album moves without haste, taking its time to drag you through its hell and never really giving you pause for thought. Listening to this album gives me a feeling of a strange voyeurism, watching something happening that I alone am getting to witness, a beautifully desolate and isolated experience. Much like the duality of the music itself, listening to the album and recalling the album feel different. When it's over, I feel myself caught up in thought, trying to recall exactly what I just saw but never quite getting the full picture.
So I listen again, and again.
|Here's what you need to know: a rift in post-metal has formed.
Its location: Poland.
Its meaning: mental torment.
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