20 Buck Spin
11.05.2015 (CD/Digital), 08.06.2015 (LP)
Distribution Europe: Soulfood Music
OBSEQUIAE has existed, in one form or another, for nearly 14 years. While it’s unlikely many have heard of Autumnal Winds, between 1997 – 2004, this young band released several limited-run recordings and demos. Dark and melodic, aggressive and, most importantly, they had their own voice. This was metal that didn’t sound like any of the 2nd rate smut peddled around the underground as retro-anything, post-anything, old school anything, etc. This was metal that did two things amazingly well: honored the influence from the greater history/spectrum of metal and also exhibited tasteful influence from 13th century music of Western Europe. Founding member and sole-songwriter, Tanner Anderson, was, at the time, a student of medieval composition for harp. This influence made its mark on their music in a subtle but effective way – calling to mind the bands from yesteryear who approached metal without confining style or approach to a genre. Namely bands like Ophthalamia or even the criminally-underrated Swedish band Miscreant. Before Autumnal Winds would have the opportunity to record a full-length album, the band had been put to rest as its members went on to pursue other bands and projects.
It wasn’t until late 2007 when the members began discussing working together. After much deliberation and rehearsal, it was decided the work would continue under the name OBSEQUIAE. This resulted in several live performances and a self-titled cassette in 2009 which was, quite literally, a new recording that covered three Autumnal Winds songs from their scarcely-produced “Venerari Sacra Mysteria” demo.
Over the next year, OBSEQUIAE began writing material for their full-length “Suspended in the Brume of Eos” before finally recording the album in early 2011. This album showcases what OBSEQUIAE has always been gifted at creating: Dark, Melodic Metal. Beautifully harmonious guitars, aggressive and creative drumming, subliminal and haunting bass with vocals that bellow cold, harsh cries. As with any recording created and executed with sincerity, this is an album that bears repeated listens and never seizes to reward its listener.
Last year 20 Buck Spin released the first vinyl edition of OBSEQUIAE’s masterfully unique 2011 debut album ‘Suspended In The Brume Of Eos’. Perhaps the only band that might fit as well on a label like Harmonia Mundi as on 20 Buck Spin, OBSEQUIAE re-emerge with ‘Aria Of Vernal Tombs’ having painstakingly shaped their 2nd opus over four years in the way an expert woodworker plies her trade to craft singular works of exquisite beauty.
As before, traditional medieval source material, this time interpreted via Vincente La Camero Marino’s sparse, sorrowful harp pieces, appears throughout ‘Aria...’ providing a foundation on which to base the longer Metal based sagas that form the albums core. Black Metal, Death Metal, Traditional Heavy Metal and Medieval Music are all weaved seamlessly together in baroque yet abrasive reverence on ‘Aria…’ resulting in a remarkably original longplayer.
With a wet clarity to the incandescent production that cites underrated obscurities like Sacramentum’s ‘Far Away From The Sun’ and Eucharist’s ‘A Velvet Creation’’ along with the early works of Varathron, Samael and Rotting Christ, the atmosphere created on ‘Aria Of Vernal Tombs’ brings to 2015 what such bands strangely but sincerely captured years ago. Every sound and shimmering tone is intentional and essential to this rite of Spring.
1. Ay que por muy gran fremosura
2. Autumnal Pyre
3. Until All Ages Fall
4. L'amour dont sui espris
5. Pools of a Vernal Paradise
6. Anlace and Heart
7. The Anchoress's Orison
8. In the Absence of Light
10. Des oge mais quer eu trobar
11. Orphic Rites of the Mystic
Tanner Anderson: Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Andrew Della Cagna: Drums
Vicente La Camera Marino: Harp