Obzidian – Damned Eternal

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Review by Jason Guest

Obzidian must be shitting riffs. Between the two instrumentals that bookend this album, Obzidian pack in as many of them as they can and chug the living crap out of them. There are plenty of great riffs in there but there are just as many that plod along laboriously, and so the songs are of course greatly affected by this. Both ‘The Murder Song’ and ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’ are over ten minutes long and, sadly, feel it. The remaining tracks are a lot shorter – averaging about five minutes each – but all inexplicably suffer from the band chomping away on riff after riff, some directionless, some disjointed, but mostly grooving. Were the songs shorter and more focussed, Obzidian’s collective power would truly shine.

The band do have their strengths however. In terms of musicianship, guitarist Baz and bassist Matt Jeffs certainly know their way around the neck and what constitutes heaviness; Paul Hayward’s drumming is creative and powerful; and vocalist Matty Jenks appears to be suffering from a case of the ‘Phil Anselmo’s, his delivery bearing that same torn, aggressive angst that the wannabe pugilist’s mouth for war is well-known for, and though he gives a fine performance, the same can’t be said for the backing or the clean vocals. With such individual and combined musical ability, Obzidian can certainly pack a punch but they are yet to deliver an album of consistently high quality. Songs like ‘Where Pain Runs Deep’ and ‘Solitude’ and the more refined moments of the two longer songs such as Baz’s acoustic parts show that the potential’s definitely there.

6 out of 10

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Track Listing:

  1. 21.15
  2. The Murder Song
  3. Where Pains Run Deep
  4. Decay Of Time
  5. Ghosts Of Yesterday
  6. Solitude
  7. Looking Through The Eyes Of The Damned