Point Of Infinity

Written by: AP on 17/12/2010 18:07:48

Obsidian hail from the Netherlands, and given the scarce amount of bands from there that ever tickle international interest, one might have certain expectations about how the band sounds based only on their nationality. The lowlands' metal scene is faced by bands like Ayreon and Textures on the one hand, and After Forever and Within Temptation on the other, so the pseudo-statistical likelihood that Obsidian also falls into one of these categories, progressive or gothic metal, seems too great to ignore. And their latest album, "Point of Infinity" confirms my suspicions, albeit not without lobbing a surprise or two at me in the process.

Obsidian are just as comfortable - and adept - at dropping your jaw with brooding doom as with mowing down all that stands in their path. As such, likening the band to Opeth feels no stranger than associating them with Meshuggah. But perhaps most impressive about the band is that while its musicians are consciously talented, the delivery is subtle. Obsidian are most concerned with compositional prowess - not with flashing their instrumental dexterity - and this is what separates them from a host of progressive metal outfits. The music is as brutal as it is diverse; a thoughtful reciprocation between incinerating force, twisted polyrhythms, and emotional introspection. The resulting convergence is a sound that is beautiful, savage, and challenging all at once.

Opening tracks "Illuminate" and "Breach", as well as "Desolate Rage" and "Incinerate", which make their appearances later in the runtime, dangle halfway between djent and technical death metal and, as such, are sure to leave no appreciator of speed and brutality unsatisfied. But the lasting value owes above all to the duality present in Obsidian's composition, most evident in the doom and gloom of "Tidal Waves"; in the progressive fury of "Radiating Light"; and in the soulful blues hinging on the monumental, conclusive crescendo of "Spectral Pathways". As an album, then, "Point of Infinity" falls neatly into the general territory of progressive metal in close proximity with Opeth and Nevermore, but if dissected into its constituent elements, Obsidian have included enough material to cater to most metal dispositions.

Indeed, part of what makes "Point of Infinity" such a refreshing entrant is its refusal to belong. What this means is that there is no sense of superiority or a desire to adhere to some strict code of honour in order to be perceived as true. As such, the album is aimed at neither the modern open-minded fan, nor at the retrospective truist, but at those of us who cherish music from all fronts, whether regional or stylistic. That is why the (albeit unimpressive) clean singing intrusions add rather an element of progressive nuance to the mix, than export Obsidian to the metalcore movement. "Point of Infinity" takes risks, but the rewards are infinite for those seeking more than metal by the books. It is intense and thought-provoking without being flamboyant or pompous.


Download: Illuminate, Breach, Tidal Waves, Radiating Light, Desolate Rage
For the fans of: Meshuggah, Nevermore, Opeth, Textures
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.09.2010
Candlelight Records

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