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Obsidian - "Point of Infinity" (CD)

Obsidian - "Point of Infinity" CD cover image

"Point of Infinity" track listing:

1. Illuminate (4:44)
2. Breach (3:52)
3. Tidal Waves (6:02)
4. Radiating Light (5:51)
5. Desolate Rage (5:01)
6. The Upward Spiral (2:56)
7. Point of Infinity (5:16)
8. Incinerate (3:50)
9. Spectral Pathways (7:10)

Reviewed by on December 10, 2010

"Obsidian dares to whisper in my ear it can put me in a trance as well as any psychedelic funeral doom band can while playing 10x as many notes."

Pop in "Point of Infinity" from Dutch prog-metallers Obsidian and if you're anything like me the first neurons firing up in your brain will be instructing you this sounds like another "pretty technical death metal with a hint of core band." As this is without a doubt something the world needs less of, this is also the signal to slam the eject button. But, alas, we must persevere to see if this is really the case (and I'm dragging you with me).

When it comes to the technical part of Obsidian, there's nothing on this album that hasn't been done before, or isn't being done by ten other bands right now. The same vocals, same production, same laser (mis)guided talent. Obsidian takes the root of "Oh jesus my hand just won't stay still!" type of technicality, almost a little like modern Psycroptic. If you're into bands like The Faceless, then this is definitely going to be up your alley, except with a little more "faceless."

There's also Meshuggah-styled polyrhythmic riffs that pop up periodically, and I say Meshuggah-styled because few bands ever lay anything down in polyrhythm that doesn't sound like it was lifted straight from a Meshuggah album. "Bleed"-type bits, "Rational Gaze"-type bits, but all Meshuggah-type bits.

Clean sung chorus sections? You betcha. The clean vocals do add a nice dynamic to the music however, and so this is where we turn an interesting corner. Instead of the whole "That guy from Killswitch Engage is crying on my porch again" melodies, Obsidian drops out of the technical metal persona for a psychedelic groove more akin to what you'd get on a post-rock release. "What am I listening to here?" I pause and contemplate, as I get to the fourth track. Is that, something gripping me emotionally in the midst of my cynicism?

These hypnotically repeating technical riffs are one thing Obsidian really has going for them on this release, and songs "Radiating Light" are a great example where "Point of Infinity" throws a curveball that sounds like Mogwai and Martyr combined. Floating dreamlike and laughing at me from above, Obsidian dares to whisper in my ear it can put me in a trance as well as any psychedelic funeral doom band can while playing 10x as many notes.

...and then we're back to banal technical death metal. Repeat. Why? Like a conglomerate of popular technical death metal techniques of the last decade dumped over a lot of original post rock, it's just a shame that under all that dirt, "Point of Infinity" couldn't shine more of it's potentially fantastic obsidian mind.

Highs: The post-rock influenced technical metal sections.

Lows: Most of it is the same technical metal bandwagon everyone else is riding.

Bottom line: Some interesting music nestled in a lot of not run of the mill technical metal.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)