The present is a doom metal compilation consisting of a demo, an EP and an additional track written exclusively for the release, written and performed by one man and released in 2010. After this release, the individual behind it appears to have only released a two-track full length, whose actual length and specific development is not fully unknown to the writer; the project Obskure Torture was shortly shut down for reasons not publicly given, though one might, given the stated practice of Hebdomadry of the artist, surmise a number of possible interruptions along the Way that might have drawn him (?) away from the artistic effort. In any case, seven compositions of pensive doom metal for the solitary mind have been left as a testament of an evolving mind throughout the span of six years.
Despite the traditional adoption of a doom metal sound, an evaluation of the approach along the whole of the compilation displays a laudable attempt at fusing different interpretations of the subgenre under a single voice. We may hear an overarching tendency towards a deathly slow take on Black Sabbath’s most foreboding compositions in Paranoid, though reduced and compacted to power chords rather than the freer melodies used by Iommi, and then stretching the usage of sections into an almost Funeral Doom template. Now, despite some of the harmonic and rhythmic motions might echo a lamentable Stoner influence, these gestures are kept under control and never become a crutch, and rather remain a wink to the listener.
As a whole, we could call Obskure Torture a ritual doome metal, for its emphasis on deep-state repetition of long though simple sequences of a character aimed at entrancing and sinking. The ideas, and the lengths to which they are taken, may somewhat strain one’s patience, but the core of these is not deficient in themselves —quite the contrary, there is promise in the overall relation of parts especially when one considers the interplay between two different long sections, which seem to appropriately “speak to each other”1.
It is a pity not to have heard much more from this project, as in the last song written and published here, ‘A Gift for the Prince’, Obskure Torture showed a kind of adventurousness and creativity that had, however, yet to break completely so that it would venture not only vertically in layering and granularity, but also also in other dimensions: transitioning functionally and coherently into different harmonic spaces, which would have added a great sense of progression and elaborate narrative to the composition.
While not an impregnable masterpiece, such as Skepticism Stormcrowfleet, Spilling the Blood of the World gives us a patient collection of phrases which, though a bit strained, provide a passageway into a different dimension by the familiarity and closeness which its different ideas throughout different songs bear —thus a total experience seems to be had from the collection of pieces, rather than from singular ones, which are rather austere in strict content. As a whole, this is music for very specific mindsets, and its power lies in patience and the subtle versatility in the gathering of influences under a minimalist and personalised banner.
1 A first variation of this expression was most probably coined in the context of metal riff relations by Brett Stevens (www.amerika.org), and has served as a most efficacious turn of phrase that encapsulates a holistic understanding of music pattern as communication.
…And thus the Elixir of Recalling flows
And the Dark Gods become manifest…