Obed Marsh - Innsmouth
Self released
Blackened Doom Metal
8 songs (50' 58")
Release year: 2016
Reviewed by Andy

Australian duo Obed Marsh sounds pretty single-purpose -- named after one of H.P. Lovecraft's villains and with their first LP named after the decaying town from The Shadow Over Innsmouth, it seems like a concept album based on a Lovecraft story (nobody's ever done that before, right?) may be queued up for the listener. Not so. Word-wise, the Innsmouth theme is only clear from the lyric sheet, due to the nearly-unintelligible vocals -- but the atmosphere of loathing and misery is the perfect soundtrack for a visit to the place.

The guitars drone out monotonous, amelodic chords with a lot of noise in them, and that noise is mirrored in lead guitarist/drummer Sam Ford's choked vocals, which sound like the lyrics are being gargled out by the Deep Ones themselves rather than a human set of pipes. The solos are mournful, joyless things that imbue a lonely feeling over all those oppressive chords underneath, but they're pretty few and far between; instead, the guitar leads sit firmly in the midrange, helping drive the rhythm section to even more oppressive depths. There are passages where the chords sustain seemingly forever before the drums return to kick things further along, especially on the start of Usurpers, where a full minute passes of individual drumbeats with the bass and guitar creeping slyly about in the background.

While there's some melody on the album, it's almost beside the point. The atmosphere is the thing to pay attention to, and at its best, that atmosphere makes a Mournful Congregation song seem cheerful by comparison. Overhanging the whole thing is an aura of menace that ramps up on the heavier, more dramatic songs; while Deficient is the melodic sorrow of a town falling to pieces under the malignant influence of the creatures of the deep, Desquamate is the purposeful menace of former humans changing into monsters. Seeping Wombs' subterranean riffing is a more intricate affair, a smooth but crushing sound that glides as effortlessly as a hammerhead shark through the ocean, punctuated by crunching chords and oddly toned muted arpeggios that chop up the melody.

Plenty of metal bands theme songs and albums after Lovecraft's stories, but few make the atmosphere of the story as realistic as Innsmouth does. Definitely an album to be listened to in the dark, in its entirety. Funeral doom devotees are particularly likely to enjoy this one.

Bandcamp: https://obedmarsh.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
Usurpers, Seeping Wombs
Andy quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Obed Marsh that we have reviewed:
Obed Marsh - Dunwich reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
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