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Obsequiae - The Palms of Sorrowed Kings


The new Obsequiae is what is expec­ted based on what came before, which is both its massive strength and only down­side.

No one does what Tan­ner Ander­son does, and few people in metal have a vis­ion that is as sin­gu­lar as his. “Castle metal” will indeed do as both a hand­wavey genre descriptor and an accur­ate depic­tion of the atmo­sphere in these tracks. And not just in the harp rendi­tions of early music stand­ards; medi­aeval melod­ies are woven into many of the riffs, too.

But this is the last album where I will be sat­is­fied with this sound. It’s unique, it’s per­fectly refined at this point. And now I’d really like to have my mind blown anew. It’s a lot to ask, but any­thing else would be a dis­ap­point­ment.

The title track is bold­est both in sheer infec­tious waltz­ing riff­age and hints of exper­i­ment­ing with new ele­ments: the epic chants are a fit­ting cli­max to what is cer­tainly the high­light of this album.

This all may sound more neg­at­ive than it should. This is a won­der­ful album that I can safely play again and again. It is infec­tious, a piece of fine craft­man­ship. The bal­ance between rous­ing melodic riff­ing and calm inter­ludes is per­fect, as it always has been. Not many albums reach this level of play in my listen­ing routine. It’s just that Obsequiae raised the bar pretty damn high with Aria of Ver­nal Tombs four years ago, and no other stand­ard will do.

Enough blather. Suit up, open your ears and your heart, and jour­ney to dis­cover ancient ruins that trans­form into vast keeps, ghosts that turn into brave war­ri­ors.

The Palms of Sor­row Kings is our on 22 Novem­ber on LP/CD through 20 Buck Spin.


Reviewed by Μηλινόη