You probably thought we were finished with our mini-series on long songs — but no, we’re not finished. We have one more. Well, maybe two more, if we ever get around to the second one in between reviewing the flood of stunning new albums that were released the last couple of weeks. But at least one more, today.
In our previous installments of this series, we reviewed long songs by Hull, Agalloch, Akelei, and Radiance. Today, we’re writing about the longest song yet in this series: It’s an album-length song released last year by a black-metal band called Obitus. The album is divided into seven tracks, but that’s merely to facilitate jumping to favorite passages; Obitus intended the album to be heard as a single, seamless work, more than 47 minutes in length.
Now, in today’s frenetically-paced, attention-deficit-afflicted world, asking music fans to sit still for an entire album’s worth of non-stop listening is like trying to stop a surging river in its course with kind words. But in our heart-of-hearts, we know that unless we slow down and focus, at least every now and then, we will miss out on some valuable experiences. And so it is with the second full-length album from Obitus — The March of the Drones.
Obitus was formed in May 2000 by a couple of Swedes, Anders Ahlbäck (who plays all the instruments) and Johan Huldtgren (vocals and lyrics). Since then, they’ve produced a demo, a split, an EP, a debut full-length that was never released, and The March of the Drones. They took some risks creating an album-length song, testing the patience of a mostly impatient population of metalhead fans. But they clearly poured their hearts and souls into this work — and don’t be misled by the title: It refers to the album’s lyrical themes. Musically, The March of the Drones is a full-body immersion into a surging torrent of dark fire. (more after the jump . . . including a sample of the music) Continue reading »