After a break of nearly 20 days in our daily publishing of premieres due to this writer’s submergence in the awful pits of his day job, we mark our return to the sharing of new music in truly spectacular fashion, with a jaw-dropping sonic spectacle from a forthcoming EP by the Venetian blackened death metal band Obscura Qalma.
From the beginning, Obscura Qalma have done nothing by half measures. If it is worth doing, they seem to think, it is worth doing in ways a listener can’t possibly overlook, on scales that dwarf the daily scrabbling of human ants and with the kind of power that overwhelms. Their lyrical themes have been equally far from the mundane.
Some might suspect that what you’ve just read is linguistic hyperbole, especially if you haven’t yet encountered this band’s heavily orchestrated amalgam of black/death, but the song we’re presenting today — “Ophidian Enthronement” — should banish any such doubts (along with any sluggishness that might be afflicting your minds).
This new song has an immediately riveting introduction. It brings to mind a company of performers pounding massed kettle drums in a grand hall, accompanied by the electricity of snare-drum bursts. And with a mere second of piano keys as your only warning, the music then swells and swirls in a display of daunting grandeur, like the towering of ocean waves.
As you’ll discover, this is a vicious tirade of a song as well as a bombastic one, and much of the rage comes from the amalgam of gravel-choked growls, fang-bared snarls, and burning howls in the vocal department.
The music saturates the senses in sweeping and roiling gales of sound that are both magnificent and distressing, both glorious and frightening, but the band also inflict punishing pile-driving jolts geared toward getting heads and bodies banging.
One question hangs in the balance as the song sweeps, soars, and convulses: How will the band end a spectacle such as this? When you’re already so far over the top, do you somehow go higher or is it better to bring a collapse?
Of course, they go higher. The drums inhumanly fire like automatic weapons, massed strings burst and scream, massed horns howl, choral voices seem to cry out in heavenly extremity. When the end does come, it’s a jarring stop.
As icing on the cake, the song is accompanied by a visualizer video that’s almost as much a sumptuous (and hellish) feast for the eyes as the music is for the ears.
Well, you might correctly surmise that after 20 days of silence, this writer had the linguistic floodgates opened by this extreme musical extravaganza. We hope it will inspire you too.
“Ophidian Enthronement” comes from a new EP named Veils Of Transcendence that will be released on February 2nd by the Dusktone label. As the label explains:
OBSCURA QALMA blend the relentlessness of death metal with the grandeur of an increasingly barbed orchestra. The band delves once again into the realms of esoteric mysticism, conveying Aleister Crowley’s opera. Your OST to the end of the world!
The EP will be released on CD and digital formats, and it’s available for pre-order now, with apparel.