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OBELYSKKH (White Lightnin') LP/CD

Germany's OBELYSKKH had no luck with the record label Droehnhaus, who released the band's debut record 'Mount Nysa'in 2011, but that's actually not that bad if one considers that they have been signed by Exile On Mainstream Records. I'm pretty sure that it will help them to gain more attention. Apart from that, though, not much has changed in the world of OBELYSKKH and they continue along the same musical path. In concrete terms, this means that they still attach great importance to create a desolate, creepy, and trance-inducing atmosphere among the monsterous riffs and lysergic uses of sound.

'White Lightnin'' is equal parts sludge, doom, post rock, and space rock and blends seamlessly from brutally heavy to serenely calm and back again. That holds good for the vocals also, that switch between throaty screams (that tread lightly into Neurosis territory) and a more melodic, cleaner-sounding style. No doubt that OBELYSKKH made a lot of effort to overwhelm the listener which they successfully did. This album is a monumental sonic construction with many corridors, and none of them leads to the light but rather to the dark sub-basement.

As already stated, this album feels like a continuation of the sound they forged on 'Mount Nysa' (review here), but it's also a bit more complex and varied. The one thing I miss is a stronger focus on hooks, as this would increase the recognition value of OBELYSKKH. A good example for this is the track 'Mount Nysa', where a sweet 1960's-sounding melody stands on an equal footing with the sheer heaviness. 'Amphetamine Animal', on the other hand, sounds more like an uninspiring mix of Electric Wizard and Sons Of Otis although I must admit that the bluesy guitar solo is really nice. Anyway, those of you who are interested in a massive sonic slab with ritualistic undertones should look out for OBELYSKHH.