"Aria of Vernal Tombs"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Here's some metal from the 80's. Not the 1980's...more like the 1280's. Talk about old school! Obsequiae is a unique project that tries to play truly medieval music with modern metal instruments. I was quite impressed by their initial effort "Suspended In the Brume of Eos" and having been waiting for this with bated breath.

"Aria of Vernal Tombs" is very much a continuation of the previous record. If anything, this sounds even more ancient and drenched in medieval atmosphere. Many metal bands through the years have tried to create a feeling of antiquity in their music, ranging from Rush to any of a dozen black metal bands, but none have been so authentic as Obsequiae. The tunes are composed using medieval scales and structuring. It really does sound like a band of minstrels from a millenium ago picked up metal instruments to compose music for a Gothic court. The multi-tracked guitar sound is unique and exquisitely layered. The "metal" tracks like "Autumnal Pyre", "Until Ages Fall" and especially "Anlace and Heart" will mentally transport you back centuries in time with their majestic tones. The anguished vocals are quite cavernous and metal fans will approve. In addition to the lengthy metal epics, there are also several extremely beautiful harp songs like the opening "Ay que por muy gran Fremosura" which soothe the soul and cast a spell of beauty.

The critical portion of my brain realizes the songs tend to be strictly limited in composition. But it's not like there's a glut of true medieval metal in the marketplace. In fact, nobody really sounds like Obsequiae. "Arias of Vernal Tombs" really bridges the gap of millenia.