The Providence is the third album to cross my desk from German stoner/doom outfit Obelyskkh, although it’s been nearly four years since its predecessor, Hymn to Pan. I think I passed on reviewing the last two, but after such a lengthy passage in time, they say this one is going to be different—more psychedelic or something. Let’s take a listen…
The six-song, 57-minute(!) effort starts off with the title track, a 12-minute epic that wastes little time in getting down to doom, of the sludgy, lumbering sort heard on Zoroaster’s Dog Magic album about a decade ago. (That’s still a great record, though!) The vocals are of the toneless, semi-chanted Al Cisneros variety, albeit with a slight Euro accent and a couple leather-lunged wails thrown in for good measure. This tune takes a turn for the trippy around the midway mark—I think I even hear a saxophone in the background—although they basically go from Zoroaster circa Dog Magic to Zoroaster circa Voice of Saturn, with a couple additional effects. Actually, for that matter, the last six minutes or so sorta sound like a heavier Acid Mothers Temple… or maybe it’s just the swirling synth effects.
“Raving Ones” has some more swirling synthesized sounds, albeit over a very heavy backdrop. Maybe it’s mostly in the meditative vocals, but I definitely detect some shades of OM here. “Northern Lights” is another knuckle-dragging spacey sludge tune, sounding somewhat like Amenra, or maybe Ufomammut. They do throw in some blastbeats around the five-minute mark, so there’s that.
Not hearing a ton of progression or variety here, but if 13-minute sludge songs are your idea of a good time, then this might be right up your alley.