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Review: Obsequiae - Aria of Vernal Tombs
Aria of Vernal Tombs

Label: 20 Buck Spin
Year released: 2015
Duration: 44:16
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: January 30, 2016
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.92/5 (78.33%) (24 Votes)

A band called Autumnal Winds existed from the year 1998 up to the year 2005, releasing several demos during those years until finally going on a temporary hiatus of two years between 2005 and 2007. Upon resuming, they also changed their name to Obsequiae and also changed their musical direction.

Now having recorded two full-length studio albums as Obsequiae, this Minnesota-based act has been under quite favorable spotlights ever since. And if Aria of Vernal Tombs is anything to go by, it's somewhat easy to understand what all the fuss is about. There's something a bit more special in their folky (or "medieval" if you prefer using this terminology) and melodic Black Metal that makes their second album worth checking out.

Using the word "medieval" to describe Obsequiae's relatively original and unique musical approach on Aria of Vernal Tombs is relatively understandable, especially due to the use of a medieval harp. It creates the kind of effect on their material that makes your mind start to wander back in time toward the Middle Ages when everything was surrounded by certain types of mysteries. There's something truly irresistible and beautiful in their sound which speaks for sheer dedication and determination to stand out from the masses. Rarely do you get to hear a band that so clearly has decided to create such musical oddities within their own sound that it makes it hard to ignore them; like you would not be at least a bit moved or impressed by the stuff they do. The Minnesota trio has succeeded at finding a very original and undoubtedly ambitious way to express themselves musically, and perhaps labeling Obsequiae just as a Black Metal act with medieval influences, would be too limiting. At times I associated them to bands like Warlord and Viking Metal-era Bathory at the very same time, if these two acts could be combined into one band. The last song on this album, "Orphic Rites of the Mystic", sounds much like Quorthon's work from his Viking Metal period, but sung with a more snarling Black Metal vocal approach.

What was a bit disturbing element for me on this otherwise musically strong, adventurous and mature record, was the vocals – or the echoing vocal effect used in Tanner Anderson's rasped Black Metal vocals. I was not that big of a fan of the result. Other than that, no complaints really. Aria of Vernal Tombs provides a musical journey worth experiencing for sure, especially for more open-minded Metal fans out there.

More about Obsequiae...
Review: Aria of Vernal Tombs (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Palms of Sorrowed Kings (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Palms of Sorrowed Kings (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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