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OBSIDIAN KINGDOM

Experimental/Post Metal • Spain


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Obsidian Kingdom picture
Obsidian Kingdom biography
Founded in Barcelona, Spain in 2005

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM is a hard to classify heavy art-rock project, with roots in black metal and influences from BOWIE, PINK FLOYD, ULVER and even KING DIAMOND, the band put together a very eclectic and impressive debut album "Mantiis" in 2012. Described by the band as a theatrically staged heavy rock opera, they found a very mature balance between the delicate and the bombastic, often resembling PORCUPINE TREE with heavier sections reminding of IHSAHN. Prior to their debut album, the band had released two EPs, entitled "Matter" (in 2007) and "3:11" (in 2010).

Biography by Bonnek

See also: Bandcamp.

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OBSIDIAN KINGDOM discography


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OBSIDIAN KINGDOM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 37 ratings
Mantiis
2012
3.68 | 28 ratings
A Year With No Summer
2016
3.31 | 4 ratings
Meat Machine
2020

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 5 ratings
Torn & Burnt
2013

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.75 | 4 ratings
Matter
2007
3.00 | 4 ratings
3:11
2010

OBSIDIAN KINGDOM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Meat Machine by OBSIDIAN KINGDOM album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.31 | 4 ratings

BUY
Meat Machine
Obsidian Kingdom Experimental/Post Metal

Review by lukretio

3 stars Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, Obsidian Kingdom have just dropped their third studio album Meat Machine, out on Season of Mist at the end of September. The Spaniards have always been a difficult band to categorize, their special blend of prog metal drawing on disparate influences such as industrial, sludge, noise rock, alternative rock, post-rock and electronic music. Their previous 2016 album, A Year With No Summer, was heavily influenced by post-rock, with lots of slow builds and repeated phrases to create gloomy cinematic atmospheres. It was a pleasant album, very melodic and with moments of brilliance, but not terribly interesting ' the excessive repetitiveness and homogeneity of songs often making the listener lose interest mid-song.

Meat Machine is a completely different beast. It's a punchier album, brimming with a multitude of ideas and musical styles and never resting too long in one place. The cinematic melancholy of the previous album is replaced with a stronger dose of anger and aggression. Most songs are heavy and fast-paced, saturated with waves of jarring guitar noise, furious drumming, and dissonant, shouted vocals. This musical heaviness is matched by the weight of the lyrics, with songs touching themes of sexual frustration, anomie, and the mercification of human relations. There are occasional concessions to melody, though, as the instrumental maelstrom quiets down and soothing melodies emerge from the wall of noise, giving the listener a much needed respite. New band member Jade Riot Cul plays a key role in this, as she provides haunting, hypnotic vocal harmonies that complement the more abrasive, Mastodonesque performance of singer/guitarist Rider G Omega.

The album is at its best when it juxtaposes melody and aggression in this way, such as on tracks like 'Naked Politics', 'Flesh World' or 'Meat Star'. These tracks provide an interesting sound, well balanced between industrial/sludge/noise rock (Mastodon; Amplifier; Swans; Cult of Luna) and gothic/occult alt-rock (The Devil's Blood; Dool). Elsewhere, Obsidian Kingdom push more on the accelerator, favouring aggression over atmosphere and mixing in even more styles and influences ('The Edge'; 'Vogue'; 'Womb of Fire'). At times, I feel there is a bit too much going on in these songs, as the ever-changing musical patterns do not give the music a chance to properly sink in and the relentless washes of noise, dissonance and aggression risk overwhelming the listener.

In fact, the biggest limit of Meat Machine is that, while it certainly provides a more interesting listening experience than A Year With No Summer, it is also a more intense album that is harder to enjoy and much more demanding on the listener. I particularly struggled with the denser second-half of the album that does not quite have the melodic quality and compositional craft of songs like 'Naked Politics'.

Obsidian Kingdom are a band that pride themselves of exploring the boundaries of rock music and defying classification. The undeniable upside of this approach is that their music never fails to provide thought-provoking explorations of new musical landscapes ' which is a quality I deeply appreciate from an artist. The downside, however, is that Obsidian Kingdom's unrestrained thirst for experimenting with new sounds and styles sometimes comes at the sacrifice of the aesthetics of their musical productions. If Obsidian Kingdom could more consistently find the right balance between boundary-pushing experimentalism and melodic accessibility, as they do in a bunch of songs of Meat Machine, they might truly become an unstoppable force in the progressive rock/metal arena.

(Originally written for The Metal Observer)

 A Year With No Summer by OBSIDIAN KINGDOM album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.68 | 28 ratings

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A Year With No Summer
Obsidian Kingdom Experimental/Post Metal

Review by rafford

4 stars When Obsidian Kingdom released their debut album "Mantiis" back in 2012 they were already a hard to classify band that mixed elements from a lot of different genres. With this new installment, the band from Barcelona has taken a step forward in this direction.

Leaving behind the blastbeats and growls of their death metal influence, they have now embraced a much more electronic sound full of distorted soundscapes without losing their heaviness.

"A Year With No Summer" is, in my opinion, a much more focused release than its predecessor. The theme is more mature and original, and the tracks are longer and therefore more polished, being "The Kandinsky Group" a personal favourite.

By the way, this is my first review on this website but I had to write about this fantastic band from my country. Let's hope they release more albums like this one (or better!) because this guys can achieve whatever they want.

 Mantiis by OBSIDIAN KINGDOM album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 37 ratings

BUY
Mantiis
Obsidian Kingdom Experimental/Post Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Every now and again a band comes across my desk that's just impossible to classify. Whether it is a total disregard for genre labels altogether or just an attempt to blend as many styles together as possible, some albums are tough to pin down to any particular label - Mantiis by Obsidian Kingdom is one such album. Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, this metal collective is rather unknown by most of the community, so I was actually very surprised when I popped Mantiis in for a spin; this is an absolutely stunning album, to put it mildly, and its unique mix of black, prog, post, death, and doom metal makes it one of the year's most unique releases. This band should be discovered by every fan of forward-thinking metal music, and the fact that this release is freely available from Obsidian Kingdom's BandCamp page means that readers should have no excuse for not checking it out.

Prior to the release of this debut full-length release, Obsidian Kingdom put out two EP's that are also freely available, but I have yet to listen to either of them. After hearing Mantiis, though, I'll be sure to make that a priority. This is a concept record of sorts that features fourteen tracks that segue into one 47 minute suite without any breaks inbetween. An ambitious way to record an album, indeed, though this is surely not where most of Obsidian Kingdom's ambition lies. Their musical style is what takes the cake in the originality department, as I hear traces of post rock, black metal, progressive rock, death metal, doom metal, and avant-metal (hell, there's even a trumpet solo at one point!) throughout the entire piece. Mantiis is not an album that switches from onslaughts of blastbeats to psychedelic jam sections without any warning; instead, Obsidian Kingdom mixes all of these vastly different styles into one seamless blend that can only be described as one-of-a-kind. Comparing Obsidian Kingdom to any other band will almost certainly be misleading, but the overwhelmingly dark atmospheres and complicated song structures may bring Opeth, Porcupine Tree, and Enslaved to mind, even if only in a vague sense.

Mantiis really is its own monster, though, so don't be surprised if you've never heard anything like this before. Obsidian Kingdom's excellence also reaches far beyond their unconventional style; from a songwriting standpoint, this observation really is something that holds my attention more than most other releases. The entire album has a dark and foreboding atmosphere that suits a concept record well, and the consistency in terms of atmosphere and composition that Obsidian Kingdom manages to achieve is remarkable considering how eclectic they are. While a good portion of the album is on the heavier side (including heavy riffs, demonic shrieks, and the whole rest of the ordeal), sections where the band decides to chill out and explore their post-rock side are potentially their most powerful. These guys really know how to craft a chilling and beautiful arrangement, and these parts put into the context of a dark and rather gruesome observation makes them all the more moving.

In short, Mantiis is an experimental metal album that has it all; high class musicianship, organic production, ambitious style, captivating atmosphere, and, most importantly of all, stunning composition. Obsidian Kingdom is the sort of revolutionary band that doesn't come around that often anymore, and this debut offering reflects this sentiment. Mantiis is an intense roller coaster ride of the darker side of human emotion, and I'd advise all forward-thinking metal fans to hop aboard.

Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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