Obsidian Kingdoms 3:11 is all about atmosphere. Each of the songs evokes it's own creepy little world where bass guitars and pounding drums hide in our closets and under our beds, ready to leap out and pounce on unsuspecting metal heads with their own brand of thematic progressive blackened metal. That is a lot of descriptors all at once. A better and easier description would be that it takes the heavy atmosphere of doom metal acts similar to Daylight Dies and injects some progressive and death metal elements. They are not doing anything particularly new, but it doesn't matter. What is here is loud, creepy, epic, and a perfect reminder of things to come from this band in the future.
The best parts about the album are when all of the different elements actually combine together using some type of black magic that instills in them a power that can be hard to describe. The drums pick up, the guitars are screeching, the vocalist is screaming, and there you were bobbing your head and thinking that this was all going a different direction. It's terrifying and at times a very beautiful thing.
The album is not trying to be a constant massacre however, it's all about art and atmosphere; which, as I have praised an incredible amount by now, is the bands greatest strength. There are times when all you can hear is the drums mimicking a heartbeat while the guitar gently weeps in the background or when they all come together in a suffocating mix that you just cannot seem to get away from.
All of the lyrics revolve around events of which this character that they are narrating for seems to have little chance of escape. The first song “Prey” is pretty self explanitory. There is something chasing you, it wants you, but you cannot get away no matter how hard you try. “Maze,” my favorite of the three, seems to be about a person that cannot escape himself, lose in a maze of self loathing and resentment. He doesn't know who he is or what he wants. “Solitude” seems to continue on from Maze in some way and is about this person that willing lives inside of himself. He doesn't know how to escape but he wants to escape this solitude that he has place himself in.
“I’m trapped inside
With my thoughts behind glass walls
I can only hear
The sound of my own voice
Why did I sow
the dark seeds of solitude?
I never want
To harvest its strange flowers”
The lyrics themselves are very well done, I love the Lovecraftian and Allen Poe imagery that is all over the place on every song. They are full of objective meaning and imagery that people will be able to relate to in different ways. They are always about loss and loneliness, the things that people do to themselves to hurt themselves and the situations that we place ourselves in.
I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this EP. I cannot help but listen to over and over. The songs are paced nearly perfect with proper buildup in all of the right places. The vocalist does both singing and screaming although I honestly prefer the screaming because his accent is sometimes laughable but he's not terrible. I'm sure that in time he will gather a better singing voice that will be able to fit right along with the atmosphere.
Although this album is not perfect, it's close enough that I feel comfortable giving it as high a praise as I can and telling you guys that you must download this as soon as possible. It's free on their band camp page, just like their original release. So there is no excuse if your into black or doom