Obsidian Tongue   

A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time

Hypnotic Dirge Records 2013

A cool wind of atmospheric black metal breezes in from the frigid forests of Massachusetts.  Obsidian Tongue's sophomore album is lovingly crafted and you can discern the care that went into each slowly developing track.  From the lumbering dirge of the opening notes of Brothers In The Stars you get a sense of isolation and despair.  The tempo picks up and you get cascading riffs with melodic accents and haunting shrieks.  An epic feel overtakes the song as clean vocal chants rise up and imbue the song with Enslaved-ish qualities.  Over the course of the track's 9 minutes it develops with a deep sense of natural splendor and vast grandeur and despite the constant tempo shifts, I never feel like the track is hurried, especially during the tranquil instrumentation towards the song's 6:07 mark.  There is definite progressive experimentation during this period and that gives way to a harder edge and you can hear some parallels with Wolves In The Throne Room here.  Moving on to Black Hole In Human Form we are greeted with a determined stomping riff with that characteristic melodic accent.  Despite the song's creeping pace the mood is pitch black.  The vocals are hate-filled and the riffs grim, even more so when the song really picks up momentum and becomes a windy rasp.  At the 4:51 mark a really gripping and emotional riff announces itself.  The final minute of the track is beautifully desolate, clean guitar and drives home the overall mood of the album.  A doomy plod and a sorrowful melody flood out of My Hands Were Made To Hold The Wind.  Circular leads wash over you and fill you with a sense of sadness and the emotion never retreats, never relents.  Continuing on with the doom style is The Birth Of Tragedy.  Once again a trudging pace and despairing overtones build the song while it emotionally crushes you.  But this just lulls you into a trap as an icy melodic passage bursts and crashes headlong into you at the 1:26 mark.  Fragile guitars eventually surface with clean singing and a clear reference to Enslaved's modern work.  Obsidian Tongue's newest album is an elegant work of progressive and atmospheric black metal.  It's mature and regal and stands as a tribute to the contrast of darkness and beauty.