Genre: Symphonic Black Metal Symphonic Death Metal
Label: Kristallblut Records
German symphonic black metallers Obsidian Gate return 12 years (!) after their last work. The band was formed in 1994 under the name The Gate and released its first demo “The Prime Uncreation” in 1998. In 1999 they changed their name into Obsidian Gate and as a trio (Marco, Markus and Daniela) they released 2 masterpieces of symphonic black metal, “The Nightspectral Voyage” in 1999 and “Colossal Christhunt” in 2001. Both albums were released by the cult label Skaldic Art Productions, the label of Vratyas Vakyas of Falkenbach! After the second album, Daniela left the band and Obsidian Gate released the 3-track EP “The Vehemence” in 2002. Unluckily in 2003 the 2 remaining members decided to take a long break until 2008, when they reunited the band and started composing new material. In the end of 2012 the duo signed to the German label Kristallblut Records and finally in March 2014 their third full-length album “Whom the Fire Obeys” was out!
Obsidian Gate’s new album brings a lot of fresh air in their sound! Their music retains the atmospheric orchestral character of the early works, while their symphonic orchestrations are more dominant, powerful and complex than ever. This time though, their melodic black metal elements have clearly given their place to a much more technical black death metal oriented approach. “Whom the Fire Obeys” is a very impressive album soundwise. It has a killer flawless production, with a really epic, bombastic, grandiose and polished sound; a relentless symphonic assault from the first minute till the last! The album is deeply influenced by ancient Egyptian history and mythology, something obvious in lyrics, artwork and music, with many eastern influences, traditional instruments and a very solid dark oriental atmosphere. Actually there are parts where their music can easily be described as oriental folk black death metal. Epic aggressive technical guitars, fast rhythms, unbelievably rich orchestral synths and black death metal brutal vocals are the basic elements in Obsidian Gate’s music. “Whom the Fire Obeys” includes eleven tracks totally and despite the complex song structures and absence of “easy catchy” melodies, its impressive technical details keep it very interesting for all 55 minutes of its duration. Several acoustic and folk instruments, combined with background choirs and some slower atmospheric parts, add a cinematic aesthetic to the whole result and help the band create a mystical atmosphere.
Maybe 12 years is a long time to wait for an album, but I guess it’s better late than never. Anyway, Obsidian Gate are back now and their new work is a great recommendation both to their older fans and to all who like symphonic extreme metal. “Whom the Fire Obeys” is a very mature work with professional crystal clear production and unique atmosphere. It is released by Kristallblut Records in a limited to 500 copies 6-panel digipak CD, with great artwork and layout by Markus himself. You can visit their official pages below for more info and listen to their music.