Premiere: Stream Oubliette‘s The Passage In Full
I don’t know about any of the rest of you north hemisphere dwellers, but I am sick of summer. None of it agrees with me, not the heat, not the proliferation of insects, and especially not that glowing radioactive menace in the sky. If you’re at all like me (and even if you’re not), then the newest offering from Tennessee’s Oubliette will be a welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat. We’ve got a full stream of The Passage right here for you today, so hit play and bask in that autumnal chill.
To be clear, Oubliette aren’t entirely nature-obsessed in the way that some of their peers are, but this is the type of album that’s more about taking you on an emotional journey than blasting you with riff after riff; think more Hæthen than Immortal. The Passage bleeds autumnal imagery, from its cover art to its somber melodies and the lyrical themes of loss and death. It’s atmospheric without losing sight of its story and structure, and its even pace makes it very easy to let absorb you completely.
With that in mind, the band’s musical pedigree might come as a surprise. Formed in 2011 as the brainchild of husband and wife pair Mike Low of Inferi and Emily Low, they have since rounded out the lineup with Todd Harris (Battle Path) and Andrew Wampler (Ophiuchus) on guitars, as well as Enfold Darkness members James Turk and Greg Vance. Half the band plays for a couple of tech death groups, but you’d likely never guess it listening to this. There are moments where you catch some of that background leaking through- a solo taking an unexpected turn, the active bass lines, a drum beat way more nuanced than is expected from black metal- but they keep the focus strictly on the journey and not on showmanship. In fact, the band is best at their slower moments, which is fortunate considering how many of those there are. Whenever the distortion cuts away, you know you’re in for something good.
You might have also noticed a trio of guitarists listed in that previous paragraph, and that wasn’t a mistake. Oubliette’s harmonies are rich and huge, and the three guitar setup makes their melodies much more intricate. It never feels like wasted potential; at any given moment, each guitar is doing something interesting. To that end, the production is pretty clean, allowing each instrument to be clearly picked out from the group. The warm, mid-heavy tone keeps it from feeling too sterile, and makes for a great accompaniment to Emily’s icy rasp.
Whether or not you’re a fan of black metal, you should check out The Passage. Their unique background brings interesting twists to the songwriting, and it’s consistently engaging even at its slowest points. The Passage comes out this Friday, July 13th, and is available for preorder on Bandcamp and The Artisan Era‘s webstore. Be sure to give warm regards to Oubliette on Facebook as well.