Obsequiae should have their own black metal heraldry. They specialize in a regal-sounding style that draws close comparison to Gods Tower. There is a kingly air about them that is well-suited to the photos of grand monasteries and temples that adorn the front, inside, and back covers of their latest album, “Aria of Vernal Tombs”—photos in which these structures have been long since reclaimed by time and nature. These buildings are ancient, and so too does Obsequiae channel something ancient and truly special.
Among the three members we find a harpist, hardly a common position in a metal band, but his presence lends itself to the aura of antiquity. He provides several tracks of lovely interludes between the aggression of the black metal tracks. This is no typical black metal, however; the production is open and clean, the guitars ringing out clear and bright. Tanner Anderson’s voice brings the requisite black metal atmosphere, his cries harsh and echoey in contrast to the gleaming, soaring melodies. But the music is still firmly rooted in a black metal aesthetic, sometimes barreling forward at full speed, beats rumbling across this imperial court as in “Pools of a Vernal Paradise.”
All the non-instrumental tracks are equally strong, and the album presents itself more as a cohesive whole than as a collection of songs. Obsequiae is nothing short of magical, and as steeped in mysticism as their lyrics. “Aria of Vernal Tombs” is a unique, innovative, and intriguing entry into the black metal pantheon.
Pay homage to their majesty here.