Friday, September 20, 2013

... OBELYSKKH "Hymn to Pan" (Album Review)

OBELYSKKH, the four piece psychedelic doom outfit from Fürth/Germany released their 3rd album (and 2nd through Exile On Mainstream Records) “Hymn To Pan” (2013).

 The opener and title track sets the mood and scene for the album. An intro with tweeting birds and the blowing of horns take you out to nature, into the realm and responsibility of Pan - god of the wild, shepherds & flocks and all natural things in general, lover of music and dancing, wine and lust, the proponent of the modern motto of sex & drugs & rock ‘n’ roll in the ancient greek mythology, so to speak.

So the song slowly unfolds its various excesses. There is a sense of lushness all over and it is carried through all six songs of the album. Be it the strong, compelling melodies, the violent heavy riffs, the psychedelic vibe, ritualistic chants and rhythms or even the beautiful quiet piano parts, everything breathes abundance.
And this sense of lushness and abundance gets even enhanced and multiplied, because these four guys who are OBELYSKKH max out their dynamic range and use it effectively by either creating contrasts or slow build ups of energy.

All the features of their excellent songwriting skills they already showed in their previous work, most notably on the predecessor “White Lightnin”, and caused me to pour my lavish praise upon them, they refined (or pushed in another direction) on “Hymn To Pan”. Their timing, the interwoven structures, the arcs of suspense or whatever, everything has matured a lot, although there’s just one year between the two releases.

But yet, despite, all the intricate and multi-layered compositions “Hymn To Pan” is very earthy and natural sounding.The combination of strong enchanting melodies, the repetitive hypnotic rhythms and thundering riffs meet the mystic and ambiguous imagery of Pan - god of shepherds & flocks and nature perfectly well.
“Hymn To Pan” is an hour of intense, powerful and enjoyable listening, a beautiful gem of an album.

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