Obsidian Kingdom Mantiis

Thu 29th November 2012


/incoming/mantis.jpgAs obscure stuff goes, this is really obscure, as it not only breaks down many of the traditional barriers associated with heavy metal, but it shreds it open, grabs the listener by the throat and asks them to really think hard about music and what is it takes to produce and write such songs.

There is simply no point trying to place this into a genre or sub-genre, as it crosses so many boundaries that it’s undefinable.

Obsidian Kingdom is an independent music project founded in Barcelona in 2005 and the music they play poses more questions than answers. What exactly are you trying to achieve? Whose idea was it to mix up these styles? What exactly are you doing? They certainly defy tradition and seem to be on a quest to find their own identity, one that has no limits or boundaries, a fresh approach or a massive gamble?

The opening salvo of Not Yet Five doesn’t really take you to where you think it might take you, in fact it is very misleading and leaves your eardrums under prepared for what they are about to listen to. The assembled musicians clearly enjoy playing with your mind and enjoy leading you down one road, only for you to be pulled in another direction before heading another way, to leave your head in quite a spin. The juxtaposition of so many different aspects of music, might just confuse and put many listeners off, but please bear with it and you will discover a sound that is not only rich in emotion, but serves up a bountiful supply of sheer madness!

Songs like Last of the Night have to be listened to, to be believed. An eclectic mix of genre defying sounds, the bass kicks in and off you go, their black metal origins are clearly demonstrated, then they display a softer, gentler style, which breaks the mood. Trumpets are blown and their laid back approach messes with people’s minds. Then the snarly vocal comes back, sneering at you and then it’s gone, all in just one song, an emotional rollercoaster of a journey.

They infuse their music with a fabulous array of multiple resources and it does create an eerie and unique style across their songs, that is breaking the boundaries of convention and style. This may seem to be the ramblings of an insane man, struggling to cope with the magnitude of this recording, but it took me 3 or 4 listens to fully appreciate the wonderfully complex songs that this ensemble have created.

So in answer to my own earlier question, it is a massive gamble, but one that they have succeeded with…..enjoy the madness.


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