Creating slabs of majestic and impactful thunderous doom/sludge metal with the riches of stoner and classic metal oozing from every breath, White Lightnin’ from German metalers Obelyskkh is a mighty and formidable release which ignites primal and deep pleasures within. It is an oppressive weighty avalanche of sonic manipulation with a leaden presence firing up satisfaction and increased adrenaline.
Formed in 2008, Obelyskkh was initially just a vehicle for the ideas of guitarist Torsten (ex- The Walruz and Vs. The Stillborn-Minded), to be explored alongside his friend Adi. It was never the intention to make it a fully operational band but as the addition of Steffen of seminal German stoner rock band Desert Sun joined first on bass before moving to drums and then multi-instrumentalist David on bass, things took off especially in 2011 which saw the release of the well received debut album Mount Nysa which sold out within three weeks of its introduction to the world via now defunct German label Droehnhaus. Alongside this the band found interest in them go viral on the web as from the seed of a 2-minutes live footage cut on Youtube, the band was inundated with interest and offers from promoters in Germany and other European countries leading the band to an exhaustive time of clubs and festivals appearances. Recorded with Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Eyehategod, High On Fire, Melvins) and released via Exile On Mainstream, the new album is now set to place the band to the fore of the thoughts and lips of all genre and metal fans, with its white hot sonic invention and intensive caustic beauty an impressive rub.
The album opens with the deeply mesmeric and senses burning instrumental The Enochian Keys, a piece of composing to scar and blister whilst igniting raptures. The track teases and provokes the ear with a restrained yet greedy groove and smoking guitar riffing as incendiary as the heated ambience wrapping each and every note.
From the deeply magnetic charms of the starter the following Elegy is a more methodical lumbering beast of a track, its intensity as weighty as its elements are raw and abrasive. The guitars scrape flesh with their sonic acidic tones throughout with additional flares of sharp melodic rock enterprise sparking at times whilst the bass and drums powerfully frame the thick tar like atmosphere which envelopes from the start. The vocals add further depth to the track with their guttural urging alongside muscular group harmonies making for another weapon to the malevolent dirge like assault.
The great start is built upon and furthered with the excellent title track and the likes of Mount Nysa and Amphetamine Animal. All in their varied ways a blistering upon the senses through incessant taunts of oppressive might and ear rupturing sounds. The vocal harmonies of the title track are a highlight of the song with their almost Pixies like discord whilst the other pair add a psychedelic progressive lined consumption and corruptive malevolence respectively to the album. The latter is a disturbed maelstrom of constricting intrusions and flailing sonic venom which steals the honours on the whole release, its nasty insidious presence a glorious destruction.
Completed by the ravenous crawl of Abysmal Desert Cavern and the unhinged Invocation To The Old Ones with its wonderful bedlam of textures, atmospheres and sounds, White Lightnin’ is one of the most impressive doom/sludge releases this year. It is a venomous feast which offers another poison and distressing companionship with each listen. Though probably not an album to rest easily within every ear it and Obelyskkh themselves, are one of the most satisfying experiences within the musical year to date.
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