Sky Shadow Obelisk/Djinn And Miskatonic – Split LP Review

Splits can serve an array of purposes. In this case, the self-titled, 30-minute split between Rhode Island’s Sky Shadow Obelisk and Bangalore, India’s Djinn and Miskatonic worked as an introduction to both bands as I had no previous experience with either one of them. Both bands have a handful of prior releases, so this split essentially works as a micro-sampler of what each has to offer.

Release date: February 8, 2018.
Label: Yuggoth Records.
Side A of the split features a single offering from Sky Shadow Obelisk, a one-man progressive death/doom project of Rhode Island’s Peter Scartabello. The 12 minute epic titled “The Alogon” starts with a minimalistic passage that utilizes not only note choice but the space between its somber melodies as well, creating an atmosphere of lamentantation and remorse. The song is revealed as an exploration in dynamics as the light melodies give way to the crushing weight of the bombastic passages that follow. The first taste of the vocals call to mind Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt, and the deep growls that rumble like a well-tuned engine are particularly noteworthy as well. Sky Shadow Obelisk uses a broad toolbox to keep the song moving, including symphonic instrumentation and an almost operatic use of female vocals, that really highlights the epic bursts and changes. Overall, the song brings a lot to the table as a well-thought out piece of modern progressive metal.

 

In response, Djinn and Misktonic offer a more conservative approach with two tracks of Goatlord-styled doom metal. The first track, “Empress of the Sands of Time,” is a mid-paced driver propelled by fuzz-laden guitar. Things get a bit dicey when an attempt at Gregorian-styled chanting is employed, as these sounds stick distractedly out of the mix and pull attention away from what’s going on in the song. Luckily, however, the same vocals are handled much better in the second track, where they feel more incorporated and serve a purpose to the song, drawing comparisons to a similar usage of the style by bands such as Abysmal Grief.

This split is an unusual pairing of artists to say the least, the only really common factor here is the underlying “doom” tag that does little justice when looking for any comparison between the two. The release serves its purpose, however: showcasing the style of each band. While Sky Shadow Obelisk left me curious and interested for their back catalogue, Djinn and Misktonic didn’t leave as much of a strong impression.

Posted by Ryan Tysinger

I listen to music, then I write about it. On Twitter @d00mfr0gg (Outro: The Winds Of Mayhem)

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