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The demo release from mysterious black metal project Obolus made, quite possibly, every year end list going for one of the “best” demos of last year. And rightly so, the mix of pure bleak rage and terribly grim atmosphere was astounding to hear in a tape that was meant as a demonstration of what this outfit could do. Praise the dark lord that new music has followed so quickly. Currently available to download for the grand price of ZERO money over on Flenser Records bandcamp page (for a limited time only) before going to press on vinyl, Lament is a gloriously bleak five track EP.


Artwork by Byran Proteau – Natvres Mortes Illvstration

Punctuated with soft and serene moments, such as the entirely instrumental “Reflection,” Lament is a work of opposing tones. Relentlessly despondent, whether that’s in the harsher tones of “Hatred” or in the beautifully gloom laden “Grievance,” the depths of despair are never far away from the quieter passages. There’s a beautiful theme that is carried throughout this work, the lonely sound of water; either as rainfall or as part of a larger body, that ties the tracks together and truly echoes the sentiments within.

The clash between styles is jarring – when Obolus is harsh, damn, Obolus is harsh. Raw in sound and in vocal style, disparate screams echo over the furious drum work and soaring guitar lines. It hardly seems like the same band that was heard on the sorrow tinged track “Reflection,” but the melancholy beauty is there to be found in the darker refrains of “Desolation” and “Hatred.” It’s in the gorgeous sweeping lines that suddenly burst through the jagged call of guitar, the weight of sadness that sits atop each track individually, growing heavier as the work progresses. Magnificent in scope and subject, Lament is the sound of a band finding a sound, one of desperation and misanthropic tendencies. Obolus is a project to be noticed, the blissed-out dreamlike-gaze sound of Lament is to be completely lost inside. Quite spectacular.

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