Obolus. A band so cloaked in intrigue and mystery that even if you were a part of the group, you probably still wouldn’t know who really made up the band. But that’s a-ok. Because mystery and intrigue is exciting, and with Obolus all you therefore think about is the music itself. And in the grand old scheme of things, that’s the most important aspect of all.
So what does it sound like?
Darn great actually! Seven and a half minutes long, and testament to this groups potential is that all you want to do after the first play, is to play it again. And again. And possibly once more just to make sure you haven’t missed anything important. A full length cannot come soon enough.
First track “Despair” demonstrates the sheer power of the band. The vocals take somewhat of a back seat, mixed low beneath the pummeling drum sound – all crashes of cymbal and bass drum, beats blasting away with wild abandon. Guitars are curiously slightly “post” in sound. A little shimmery in the glare of the noise produced elsewhere, threatening to cut deep. This absolute wall of sound is offset by those vocals. Harrowing, a tad oppressed by the gorgeous layers of instrumentation above it, this is desolation at it’s finest.
And then comes “Selfless,” a beautiful antithesis to the opening song. A much more downbeat outing for Obolus it showcases that this is band capable of producing not only harsh works, but also those of sublimely despondent elegance. Taking the final words of “Despair” and using them as the basis of this fairly minimal (at least in comparison to the first) track, the group build the atmospheric nature of the sound in such a way that it begins to bear down on you with a great weight. Overwhelmingly bleak and gloomy, “Selfless” closes this startling demo consummately. So befittingly somber, that you’ll be rewinding back to the beginning as soon as the final notes ring out.
You can check out this two track demo here, and then revel in misery as you realise that the cassette is already sold out. Released via the impeccable Sunyata Recordings, it was gone in the blink of an eye. Never underestimate the demand for this labels work. Never underestimate the power of the unknown.
UPDATE: New label Merz Tapes will be releasing this soon. Limited to 100 copies. Don’t miss it.