Review: Obiat ‘Indian Ocean’
The London based progressive psych/doom/stoner gurus of Obiat are back after a 13 year gap between albums!! Indian Ocean is one of the strongest records to come out in July 2022, exhibiting all the eclectic sounds that the band is known for.
The best part of this album are the dynamic aspects that Obiat incorporate into their music; they’re masters of using heavy and light sections in order to climb to lofty peaks that then dive into deep valleys of lush soundscapes that entertain and intrigue the listener.
Obiat is also unafraid of using a multitude of instruments, and this is largely thanks to a diverse cast of guest appearances. We hear everything from the standard drums, bass, guitars and vocals to saxophones, trombones, and bamboo flutes. This mix helps create music that will capture your imagination and transport you to the distant reaches of the cosmos.
Ulysses is the first of eight tracks and opens the record up in incredible fashion. The first riffs we get to hear are crushing in their magnitude, yet heady in their presentation. What I love about this one is that there seems to be space left during the instrumentation, leaving plenty of room for the incredible vocals of Sean Cooper; his approach is top tier and fits Obiat perfectly.
Up next, we find Eyes And Soul. The intro riff starts off expertly before morphing into a heavier sound by employing power chords for extra bite; the verse sections find that same riff reverting back to its original state to allow the vocals to take the spotlight.
masters of using heavy and light sections in order to climb to lofty peaks that then dive into deep valleys of lush soundscapes…
As this one moves forward, we hear the band fall into a progressive psych type of feel, this adds a dynamic level that takes things into a place of pure beauty, while making those heavier guitars sound even more massive. That duality of tones is why I love this record as much as I do.
Now we’re up to my pick for best track, an astounding song named Acid Wake. The intro has a bit of an Alice In Chains, if they were heavy stoner, vibe. It is also the track where I feel the band digs deeper into their repertoire of sounds for the first time. The bamboo flute makes an appearance, and the sections they’re used in may bring to mind another legendary band, the mighty Cathedral, Obiat utilizes their impressive command of dynamic shifts to its utmost, creating a song that is felt as much as it is heard.
Other standout tracks include Nothing Above, Sea Burial, and Beware the North Star as Obiat‘s return is, like I mentioned above, one of, if not the, strongest albums to come out this month. It would be a disservice to yourselves if you don’t check out Indian Ocean, so head over to wherever you listen to music, and immerse yourselves into the vast array of sounds on this record. Enjoy!!!
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Scribed by: Tom Hanno