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blackQueen: March of the Obsidium Triumvirate

What a pleasure this was. The band describes itself as playing "witch metal," not a term I have heard before, but here it works perfectly as an explanation for their strategies on writing and performing. If I were to describe this in general terms, I would tell you that it is essentially mid-tempo dark metal. In that sense, it has all the makings- staccato drumming, growled vocals, jagged and angular guitar. But there is something more going on here.

The band cites Goblin as an influence, and this is a rather strong part of their approach. The music is cinematic by design. Here, the entire disc is thematic; it tells "of the powers of nature channeled through a human host, and of the fear born from its misunderstood creative and destructive elements." As the disc moves through its compositions, the cinematic emphasis strengthens, leading to the concluding song "Chaos Reigns," a 15-minute epic that is not so much a song as it is a soundtrack. As a soundtrack it is incredibly evocative.

But before it gets to its apotheosis, there are 4 preceding songs. "The 2nd Key" is an introductory blast, a sludgy song that starts out with some spoken word to lead into the world of the disc. Processed vocals- or what I think are processed vocals- moves this forward. "BabeGhostWitch" is more up-tempo, led by a skittering bass guitar and a compressed guitar. Sounds sort of like a newer-aged version of Voivod. "The Artemiesiast" begins with some electronic keyboard sounds, over weird vocalisms, sort of pagan-techno in nature. But this morphs into a slow piano section that then breaks into a heavy riff section, with choral-style overdubbed singing. All in all, this is a heady piece. "Sleepless" is more prog oriented. It is the most melodic piece on the disc, a slow-moving song that I think sets up the finale.

And what a finale. It is hard to describe "Chaos Reigns." It is 15 minutes long, but I would not call it a composed song. It is more a soundtrack of the mind, where you the listener have to try to follow what is happening, what the implications are, how it all ends. This is an amazing work, and a real risk for the band. But they pull it off.

This is strongly recommended.

Track Listings
1) The 2nd Key
2) BabeGhostWitch
3) The Artemiesiast
4) Sleepless
5) Chaos Reigns

Added: October 23rd 2013
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1607
Language: english

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