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Zen Like You Mean It - 90%

GuntherTheUndying, April 2nd, 2015

“Suspended in the Brume of Eos” is something of towering significance among the ordinary clusters of metal groups that mostly rehash classic albums or pander to trends. I’ve been drawing blanks as to how to describe Obsequiae since stumbling on the band’s debut by happenstance. I’ve heard Obsequiae called melodic death metal, black metal with pagan touches, medieval folk metal; even something nebulous like ‘dark melodic metal’ has become a feasible tag, apparently. The intriguing thing is that all of these sounds and labels apply, yet none makes a clear and convincing case to be the ground on which Obsequiae stands. The genre confusion is, however, something extraordinary, as “Suspended in the Brume of Eos” sounds completely unique and natural, and manages to capture an organic vision of multiple textures that are masterfully intertwined.

The tapestry of the album is rather simple in contrast to all the influences that are obviously significant to the gentlemen of Obsequiae. The constant storms of medieval and folk melodies zipping above riffs often found in the niches of black metal and death metal are done in an unhurried, calculated carefulness that certainly does not qualify as ‘busy music.’ Most of this is mid-paced in nature, though blast beats and more up-tempo guitar parts still reflect a sense of tranquility. While the vocals are harsh, and moments of aggression are common, the end result is something unique; meditative and serene folk-ish medieval metal stuff. It helps that the band is never short on superb melodies or hooking segments within each tune that don’t run on the gimmick of sounding distinctive, but instead greatly enrich the record’s sound and explore its depth.

Songwriting is what comes first and foremost throughout “Suspended in the Brume of Eos.” Its dynamic tracks and guitar parts were put together under the care of an idiosyncratic scope without driving them down into the bowels of unmatched pompousness. Fluidly the songs flow through a conduit of folk/medieval sequences always boasting rich lead guitar work on a large spectrum of sounds and influences, never once feeling unauthentic. The title track, in particular, sums up Obsequiae’s strengths in a vibrant display, applying arrangements that drive on robust riffs while using phenomenal lead guitar bits and melodies to add a mossy, organic aura to the death/black metal overtones; it is a wonderful tune.

Obsequiae puts itself in a position to not have its pretty little shrine screwed up. Even the serene interludes—throwaway/filler tunes, as per the norm—are excellent pacing sequences used to properly show the many dynamics of the group at work. Rare is it to find a piece of metal this interesting, this engaged, this comfortable in its own skin. Obsequiae is something special to observe; the care and delicacy in these tracks is a feat often ignored by most rush-it-out metal bands. Flawlessly performed, eccentrically colored, superbly crafted without the snobbery—“Suspended in the Brume of Eos” in a nutshell.

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