Thursday 26 January 2023

Obelyskkh - The Ultimate Grace Of God (Album Review)

Release Date: January 27th 2023. Record Label: Exile On Mainstream. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Ultimate Grace Of God: Tracklisting


The Ultimate Grace Of God

Black Mother


Universal Goddess

Dog Headed God

Sat Nam (Vision)


Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Powerhouse riffsters Obelyskkh return with their first new album in five years and one that was promised before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. I've been waiting impatiently for this album as I loved their 2017 release The Providence. The Ultimate Grace Of God is quite an oddity when first hearing the album. As Obelyskkh fuses many different musical elements that can be quite hard to comprehend at first but they haven't lost their talent of writing a lean, mean, aggressive and catchy sounding riff. Taking cues from the school of Black Sabbath, SLEEP, Ufomammut, The Melvins and Electric Wizard but with a harsher sound that has a volatile Psychedelic Distorted groove to it.

After a few listens I started to admire the bold creative choices Obelyskkh took with this album. Heavy distorted and droned out sounds with their trademark Psych Doom/Stoner Metal style of music but matched with a bleaker Sludge Metal backdrop which you can hear in full effect on the outstanding opening song Aquaveil. The song does have some trippy and psychedelic glitch based noises throughout the song that can be quite chaotic in places. Though, the vocals and grooves allows Obelyskkh to bring a winning style of AMPLIFIER WORSHIP and in some cases LOW & SLOW based music.

Second song The Ultimate Grace Of God has a slight Neurosis vibe with Obelyskkh venturing into areas of Post-Metal with a down-tuned psychedelic attitude that the band have used before on previous albums. There's traces of Hardcore Punk and Crust Punk within this song that brings another sense of chaos to the mix. The vocals have a slightly "schizophrenic" feel with the different styles Obelyskkh employ here. The songs moves cautiously to one area of warped Doom Metal to the next with a slight WEEDIAN attitude moving into darker Sludge Metal territory. Obelyskkh even find the time to play some cool guitar riffs and extended jams along the way. The music can be superbly melodic despite all of the aggressive madness being played around you. This is on of the standout tracks on the album.

Third song Black Mother continues the warped psychedelic and distorted energy of the previous song but with a more riffier approach that's quite catchy within its deep Hardcore Punk roots. The manic based vocals work surprisingly well with the Sludge/Stoner Metal sound that has an eerie OCCULT ROCK especially with the lyrics and vocals contained here. Obelyskkh appears to be channelling Electric Wizard and The Melvins on this track but still being their own highly inventive selves. The album truly shines here when Obelyskkh plays a simpler style of Psychedelic Stoner Rock with a catchy Sludge Rock groove being played in the background.

Fourth song Afterlife sees Obelyskkh go for an all out Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal attack with this track running past the fourteen minutes mark. Shades of Ambient Doom and Distorted Sludgy grooves appear at the start with Obelyskkh taking a more cautious approach with their music. This track feels like it's came from a different band with the subtle Post-Rock/Post-Metal elements that appear. The heavy riffs do take time to fully appear and it's great seeing a different side to Obelyskkh with the band bringing more of their heavier sounds at different stages of the song. Afterlife can be quite cold, solitary and desolate in places with a thundering back-line powering everything along to a deeply satisfying conclusion.

Obelyskkh have three more songs to impress listeners with and they go even further down the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal rabbit hole with those sounds being the main building blocks for the band to add even more aggressive Psychedelic Sounds on tracks such as Universal Goddess, Dog Headed God and another epic track Sat Nam (Vision) that runs near the seventeen minute mark. 

The final three tracks are perhaps the most experimental with Obelyskkh being more comfortable with the creative choices they've made for the album. This also helps that Obelyskkh have a few tricks up their sleeves to create heart-pounding slabs of modern day grooves with a deep monolithic edge to them.

Sat Nam (Vision) is perhaps one of the heaviest tracks the band have written yet.

The Ultimate Grace Of God is an unflinching and aggressive style of Psychedelic Metal that takes no prisoners with its bleak cinematic vision. This is the finest album that Obelyskkh have released to date and could end up becoming a firm favourite of the Underground Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Scene.

This is an unmissable and must-have album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo.

The Ultimate Grace Of God will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Exile On Mainstream from January 27th 2023.


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