Ordo Obsidium - A Crooked Path to Desolation

I reviewed the debut Ordo Obsidium release, Orbis Tertius, more than two years ago, expecting that we would all be hearing a lot more about them in the future. Instead, things have been rather quiet, but that doesn't mean that the band hasn't worked on writing and recording new music. A new album, entitled A Crooked Path to Desolation, has been complete for some time, and is just waiting to be released on LP by Eisenwald, hopefully coming sooner than later.

The band has certainly been very active, as their sound has evolved and progressed quite a lot over the two+ years since Orbis Tertius was released. Whereas the debut highlighted the band's exploration of synthesizing black and doom metal, the new record sees Ordo Obsidium reaching into other areas as well, developing a sound that is very much their own. Their love for black and doom metal is surely still present, but they have strongly incorporated progressive and death-metal vibes into this record.

From the get-go the record is very dark, utilizing a hazy and hellish atmosphere to set the tone for the 38 minutes to come. Deep, sinister vocals complement the bass-heavy sound, rich with unrelenting percussion and uncompromisingly deadly rhythms. The guitars are bleak and full of tension, always building to something bigger than what was heard just seconds before, and this is at the heart of why I love this band. When even the best bands find a good riff, they tend to over-utilize it; Ordo Obsidium, on the other hand, are not afraid to change things up within a song, taking a riff or chord progression only as far it will go. In other words, they don't milk it til it's dead. While these may be hymns of death, they are most certainly alive, keeping Ordo Obsidium are at the forefront of what made black metal very vital and interesting in 2013.

The third, fourth and fifth tracks from the record, "Nightbird's Song," "Dire Monument," and "The Warping Palace" were three of the very best tracks that I heard in the year 2013, and I strongly encourage you to hear the entire record the only way you can at present - by streaming them from the Eisenwald Bandcamp. The 12" vinyl is coming sometime in 2014, and is certainly an album you don't want to miss. "The Warping Palace" is embedded above, so once you've heard that, please do yourself the favor of checking out the rest of the album.

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