Obsidian Sea – Pathos

Pathos Album Cover Art

Obsidian Sea – Pathos
Ripple Music
Release Date: 04/02/22
Running Time: 39:52
Review by Dark Juan

I don’t know what to do with myself. The weather outside is no longer trying to kill me. I went out with the Smellhounds this morning and there were no wheelie bins flying past me that will be needing to go on speed awareness courses, no refusal to go out from Rear-Admiral Sir Zeusington-Zeus (KCVG, VC, DFC and Bar, Order of The Red Banner, Croix de Guerre), even when he was desperate for a shit and especially no plastic bottles trying to brain me. Instead, I walked past a skip that had the contents of a house clear out in it and managed to snatch up a decent copy of Iron Maiden’s “Dance Of Death” for absolutely no money whatsoever. I am contemplating going back for the Counting Crows CD I saw, but I probably won’t because a) I am fundamentally lazy, and b) Counting Crows are a bit shit really.

It was ironic that when I was writing this review (and the paragraph above, at the time when Blighty was suffering from the kind of wind that I normally produce after a healthy breakfast of California Reaper chillies), there technically was not a website for these words to be posted on. Head Honcho General Field-Marshal Beth “One Inch Closer, Buster, And You’ll Be Wearing Your Balls As Earrings” Jones (she was quite cross at this point and by no means the usual delightful fairy she normally is), undertook a bit of a revamp, which, being as I am a libertine and enthusiast of mind altering substances and not an IT expert, I can only believe involved a large amount of twitching bottoms, incipient panic and a serious case of brown trousers time if it all went wrong. In which case, it was wonderful to write for you all. Actually, I’m lying. I don’t even LIKE Heavy Metal and you’re all longhaired Herbert’s and drug addicts and you’ll be going to hell faster than Glenn Danzig’s favourite cum sock. Also, tattoos suck. And piercings mean you have given your souls to Satan [they followed your punctuation – ED]. 

Repent, you pricks and ask Almighty God for forgiveness, before it is too late and you damn your souls to Hell for eternity and you find yourself being probed in ungentlemanly manners by shaggy hooved demons with tridents. Which is uncomfortable even if you’re a fan of double penetration.

Or you could completely ignore the above and give yourself the aural treat of listening to the fourth album from Bulgarian Progressive Proto-Rockers Obsidian Sea. “Pathos” is its name and it is spinning on the Deck of Death as we speak…

First off, what do these three fine gentlemen sound like? On the opening song ‘Lament The Death Of Wonder’ the first thing that strikes my educated lugholes is how much the vocal harmonies and especially the lead performance of Anton Avramov remind me of Psychotic Waltz circa “A Social Grace”. This should not be taken as a demerit because ‘Another Prophet Song’ is one of Dark Juan’s all-time favourites. The band (being a power trio) have a sound that is best described as Classic Rock and Metal, crossed with a strong Progressive and Psychedelic component. This album is fucking massively groovy and can be described as a Very Good Thing indeed. ‘Lament The Death Of Wonder’ sets the store for the album in magical fashion, reminding this listener of an interesting mélange of Wolfmother, Lucid Sins, Friendship, Lucifer and Red Spektor in sound. Throw in a bit of the more esoteric moments of Hawkwind in there as well and you have an intoxicating mix of styles that references Classic Rock and Metal yet still sounds incredibly vibrant, fresh and accessible. ‘I Love The Woods’ opens on a simple clean riff that then breaks into a gently distorted version of it, but the music is languid and fluid and is allowed to breathe. Where Obisidian Sea triumph is that they allow fucking NOTHING TO INTERFERE WITH THE MAJESTY OF THE GROOVE. The groove is all. Everything is groovy in the world of Obsidian Sea and Dark Juan is all about being the grooviest groovemeister the world has ever seen. Elongated bridges and movements abound and middle eights happily become middle thirty-twos in the finest tradition of Prog Rock and Psychedelic expressionism, yet nothing outstays its welcome. Indeed, the only negative point so far is that there is no cowbell. Everything needs more cowbell.

The production of this record is punchy as hell as well. The bass rumbles the old derriere in splendid fashion and the sound of the drums (apart from the floor tom – more on that later) and cymbals are well balanced, with nothing overpowering the other instruments. The soloing of Mr. Avramov on the guitar is also worthy of your attention, because when he rips he is a supple, fluid and incendiary soloist. The vocal harmonies are also just magical and the whole album just has riffs for fucking days, mate. The choppy, stop-start, ultra-chonky riffing on ‘The Long Drowning’ is just so…. Magnificent, when taken with the obvious vocal talents of these three fine Bulgarian gentlemen on their harmonies. And they are able to pick up their metaphorical skirts and give their instruments a bloody good, judicious spanking when they want to as well.

The opening riff to ‘Sisters’ stood out to me as well because it sounded like a half-speed Coheed and Cambria song. I think it was ‘The Crowing’, but this morphed quickly into a hairy-arsed Blues Rock riff of some seismic significance, before this bunch of Bulgarian musical miscreants chucked in some acid infused Stoner and Psychedelic influences, and then, in the middle eight, threw in a Doom Metal, mogadon slow riff overlaying some serious fuzz and phaser-wah shenanigans during the solo.

I think it’s safe to say I am a bit of a fan of Obsidian Sea based on the experience of this album. Discerning listeners who enjoy Lucifer and Lucid Sins and Blood Ceremony might well find this record to their considerable advantage. I’m fucking loving it, baby. Any band that worships at the Temple of The Groovy wins a fan in Dark Juan. And Obsidian Sea are High Priests of The Groove.  Everything on this record has been done right as well. The song arrangements are good, the lyrics excellent for non-native English speakers, the production on the money – apart from a curious flat spot on the low floor tom that makes tub-thumper Bozhidar Parvanov sound like he is employing an inventive and experimental new method of hitting it, by the simple expedient of using a recently defrosted cod, or some other kind of equally flaccid white fish substitute rather than a drumstick. However, this is extreme nit-picking, because I have to find something to criticize, because after all I am a critic. As in someone who writes about something because he can’t fucking do it himself.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Патентованата система за оценка на пръски кръв от Dark Juan for our Bulgarian friends) offers itself humbly to the service of the High Priests of The Groove that are Obsidian Sea with a stonking 9/10 for a sublime Psychedelic Rock and Metal hybrid album that beguiles, charms and seduces in the most unseemly manner. Sex wee. Sex wee fucking everywhere. Again. Buy this record.

01. Lament The Death Of Wonder
02. The Long Drowning
03. Sisters
04. Mythos
05. The Revenants
06. I Love The Woods
07. The Meaning Of Shadows

Anton Avramov – Guitars and Vocals
Delyan Karaivanov – Bass and Backing Vocals
Bozhidar Parvanov – Drums


Obsidian Sea Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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