Obitus - The March of the Drones
Eerie Art Records
Black Metal
7 songs (44:30)
Release year: 2009
Obitus, Eerie Art Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Surprise of the month

Black metal has gone from being a genre dominated by mainly primitive, grim and frostbitten bands to a style that has a vast amount of limbs to pick fruit from. There’s still the cold, underground and raw bands that try to sound as simple and evil as possible, but the genre has gotten highly experimental and even more atmospheric over the years. The admittedly fitting post-rock like sound mixed with an epic approach to song-writing that bands like Altars of Madness and Enslaved and partly Wolves in the Throne Room have adopted has been well received, and the bands representing the genre nowadays seems to have taken steps in the right direction and have become bands that I, even though I’m not the biggest black metal fan in the world, have been increasingly more important to me and my journey on the blackened path of this musical Armageddon. Obitus are a two-men project that hails from the dark woods of Sweden, and The March of the Drones is their debut. After two EP’s that gained a lot of attention in the underground, the debut is finally here, well worth the wait.

The anti-human duo have forged together an excellent piece of venomous black metal here. Even though it might seem short with its seven songs, it clocks in for well over forty minutes, and to be honest I wouldn’t mind it being longer. Epic and pitch black atmosphere wraps the snake-biting, sometimes lightning-fast, sometimes slow and crushing riffs into a package of blistering madness and despair coupled with the ice-cold almost Abbath-like vocals. Their sound isn’t quite as `soft` as Altar of Plagues, as the guitars is much more edgy and remind me of both a perhaps little more modern In The Nightside Eclipse-era Emperor and Sons of the Northern Darkness-era Immortal. Complex and often long songs never get boring, much due to the tempo-shifts, the exciting tremolo-riffing and the up-backing excellently executed drum-work that follows every twist and turn with sharp accuracy. The demonic vocals hurls up a swarm of infuriated ravens that are readying to peck your eyes our, and the raging intensity and aggression shatters the ground and opens the black gate to a much warmer place. As depressive as it is, the message is clearly delivered through both spoken word intros on a couple of songs as well as the music and lyrics being deliberately thought through. The odd keyboard sounds, the fierce and slightly melodic yet atonal guitar-work on The Endless Void makes you feel trapped in well, an endless void. The music is glimmering with despair, and the shattering closing epic The Drone Marches On massacres all remaining hope and leaves you depressed and hateful.

Even though this is packed with quality from the very beginning, things really picks up towards the end. The ending trio, who all clocks for well over seven minutes, is the climax that the previous songs aim for. High-end, cold tremolo-riffing and blasting at hyper-speed blackens the clear soundscape as the sometimes somewhat mid-pitched grinds and sometimes low growls clutches you with a demonic grip that’ll drag you into a world a madness. The rolling riffs will grab you like a boulder thundering down a hillside, tearing every tree in its line from their roots and drag them along in its fall. Nothing can or will save you.

If you’re in for a thrill, and if you’re an eager follower of the exciting black metal movement nowadays, get a hold of these young guns from Sweden, as I’m sure they’ll impress you in one way or another. The March of the Drones contains everything a black metal record should to make it interesting and compelling nowadays, and the fact that this is a young and talented, up-and-coming band, makes it even more of a pleasure to listen to and experience. Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
Album as a whole
Thomas quoted 86 / 100
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