Saturday, February 6, 2016

Obscura - Akroasis (2016)

After having written about the video for the title track, I absolutely had to go and write about the album as a whole! Akroasis is a beautiful, classicist metal album, encompassing every decade and approach in a richly satisfying, radiantly glowing whole. This is musick lit from within, shining without. There is a strong emphasis on making songs which cohere tunefully, with all parts working in concert to make something which feels good to listen to. There is stuff here which sounds like what Celtic Frost and Cynic would make if they were traveling to another galaxy on a starship together and wanted to jam to pass the time, but with passages and sections that neither of them saw coming, seemingly composed by the radiation of nebulae moving ghostly through the hull. There is stuff here that sounds like The Weather Report in an intimate thrash/death session. There are cyber-seraph chorales. There are lots of acoustic gtr passages still playing ensemble, not just intro/outro/interlude. There are harmonic glissandos and tremelo-riffs atop writhing surges and flows and hammerings. There are strings, not just as accent, but in full-on classical composition. There is a lot of metal-metal here, as well as a real debt not only to old school thrash and death, but to the whole range of power metals, too. This album sounds like the sun rising and the sun setting superimposed atop each other and allowed to remain that way for the passage of whole days. This is musick which is grounding emotionally, healing in its encompassment, which asks to be sung along to, whether in concert or at home in tranquil reflection. Everything ripples outward from multiple centers, meeting and dispersing. This is a hymn to the light given off by stars, and the illuminated spaces between.

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