Review: Obsidian Sea ‘Pathos’

Obsidian Sea are back with album number four titled Pathos to be released February 4th, 2022 by Ripple Music. One of the few good things to come out of the groundhog day reality that is life in a pandemic is that bands are left with two choices; one being do nothing and the other write new material. Pathos is born from the latter and brings with it the confidence of a fourth album and introspective vibes soundtracked by the band’s take on proto-metal.

Obsidian Sea 'Pathos'

Anton Avramov’s vocals have an excellent ancient otherworldly quality to them, and his versatile guitar work up the fretboard is constantly impressive. The best Obsidian Sea moments come when drummer Bozihdar Parvanov and bassist Delyan Karaivanov lock into a groove as Avramov mixes melodies and riffs with such precision and psychedelic grandeur, it’s easy to forget there are only three humans in the band.           

Lament The Death Of Wonder kicks the album off with a building intro that releases into a cracking riff that has a perfect slight variation when the vocals kick. It’s everything mentioned above and a standout track on the album.

The Long Drowning has the difficult task of following on from the previous track and perhaps wisely, the band has chosen to bring in some quieter moments rather than try to compete. The song swirls around Avramov’s cleaner vocal melodies until the bridge leaps from 3/4 time into an upbeat 4/4 that finishes with long fills from Parvanov on drums

Pathos is an excellent album with three musicians on top of their game and all pulling in the same direction…

Sisters is a good choice as the lead single from the album, right from the first notes it catches the attention and has an instantly likeable vocal melody. There are two passages where the guitar plays three spaced-out chords and the rhythm section takes the driving seat, setting the song apart from other works on the album.

On Mythos the band has found a riff that is probably just as fun to play as it sounds with its headbanging roll interjected with a flurry of notes. The first half of the song has a more classic type of song structure, however, in the second half, the song is stripped right back and allowed to build slowly on a new tangent. Avramov’s guitar work and versatility are given centre stage to bring this track to home over three glorious minutes.

The following track The Revenants takes a turn into more doom like territory that eventually arrives to a driving outro and punchy lyrics that would be good to see live. I Love the Woods starts off sounding like a love letter to the shared experience. It’s the kind of track that invokes the sparking of lighters to be held proudly above one’s skull while keeping your phone firmly in your pocket. The album is then brought to a close with the six-and-a-half-minute The Meaning Of Shadows.

Overall Pathos is an excellent album with three musicians on top of their game and all pulling in the same direction. Proto-metal, in general, has a familiar sound that is rooted in the 60s and 70s that can, at times, make it tricky to bring new heavier tones into the soundscape, which is maybe the only thing I wanted more of – a handful of these same riffs, just heavier and thicker, although that’s probably just reflective with how I feel as I write this after a very indulgent festive season. Time to Lament The Death Of Wonder one more time.

Label: Ripple Music
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Maxx