Obsidian Kingdom – Meat Machine
Who is that Obsidian Kingdom – “Meat Machine”?
“Meat Machine” is a hard album to digest but provides an interesting journey. It’s the latest album of the Barcelona based band Obsidian Kingdom released on September 25 from Season of Mist, and it was my first time listening to them and since it’s the first time they are presented here on The Progspace, let’s make a proper introduction.
Formed in 2005 by guitarist Rider G Omega – who later took on vocal duties, too and is the only original member left – they released their first album “Mantiis – An Agony in Fourteen Bites” independently in 2012 while the next year they released an album with remixes. Then came a contract with their current label and in 2016 their second album, “A Year with no Summer”. They are a band hard to categorize and that seems to be their mission statement, since they are “devoted to explore the boundaries of rock music”, drawing influences mostly from extreme, post and progressive metal as well as electronica.
“Mantiis” seemed to me like a good first album with a kinda predictable but very tasteful mix of different styles leaning more into post-metal, and “A Year with no Summer” seemed like a logical next step. “Torn & Burned” had some great moments and it is interesting to see how their music was transformed.
“Meat Machine” is very different though. It’s a mix of sludge and stoner vocals and riffs along with progressive passages, post-metal climaxes, industrial goth feel, as well as mainstream choruses and the occasional ambient moments. Mastodon and Cult of Luna came to my mind the most but you shouldn’t think that they really sound like any of them. Right when you think you know what you’ll get next they hit you with a song that reminds me of commercial late 80s rock with post-punk influences. There are wonderfully well-adapted electronica elements during the whole album and their extreme metal influences from previous albums have deteriorated in a way.
It starts really heavy with songs like ‘The Edge’ and ‘The Pump’ but overall it’s not a very heavy record, it changes drastically with the very melodic ‘Naked Politics’ and ‘Flesh World’. ‘Meat Star’ is very catchy and the album closes with some trip-hop and ambient moments in ‘Womb of Wire’ or ‘A Foe’. It is evident that they can perform different genres and they do it efficiently. The lyrics are cruel, sexual and describe the mean reality we endure every day.
Obsidian Kingdom – Meat Star (click here if the video doesn’t play)
While these all sound disturbing and provocative I don’t think they succeed in that last part, at least not in the way I interpret that they would prefer. While looking at their evolution, they do break a lot of boundaries here, but it seems to me they can go further, be that their artwork, lyrics or the music itself. There are moments where they sound like any other avant-garde metal band. One other major flaw is that while I really enjoyed the changes in styles in the songs, if you go track to track it almost feels like a collection of random songs. I think mixing so many and different genres would be more interesting if they were more adapted and you wouldn’t pick them up during the first or even second listen but on the other hand this absurd result seems to have been their desire.
Obsidian Kingdom – The Pump (click here if the video doesn’t play)
In any case, while this is certainly not an easy album and all those different things mixed together kind of tires you, after it’s done you want a bit more. It sure is a very different album than their previous ones and a brave step, we should give them props for being an experimental band on a major label either way. I’m sure they’ll keep us occupied in the near future.
- The Edge
- The Pump
- 3. Mr Pan
- Naked Politics
- Flesh World
- Meat Star
- Womb of Wire
- A Foe