Doom And Gloom
If your goal is to relax while listening to metal, there are really only two options available: stoner and/or doom metal. The repetitive riffs, psychedelic guitars, and distant vocals are designed to lull you into a trance-like state, and take you to another plane. However, this approach can be a double-edged sword. Those same qualities that make doom metal appealing can also make it boring, and German quartet Obelyskkh walk that fine line (and none too carefully) on their second full-length, White Lightnin’.
Opener “The Enochian Keys” is a 6-minute instrumental, centered on a single riff. While it does evolve and grow, one gets the feeling that the song didn’t need to be that long, that it was purely in keeping with the traditions of the genre. The same trappings befall “Elegy”, which begins promisingly with an ominous, mid-tempo grind, and strained, half-sung vocals, before transitioning into 6 minutes of guitar stabs and ambient noise. “The White Lightning” fares a little better, featuring secluded guitar solos and focused, melodic vocals, as well as a catchy, ever-undulating main riff. “Amphetamine Animal” is the closest thing to a standout track, with its Melvins-style intro, and off-kilter guitars. Unfortunately, the record ends with a whimper on “Invocation To The Old Ones”, a decent 4-minute song hidden inside 15 minutes of wind noises and chimes.
Obelyskkh clearly appreciates the genre they’ve chosen, and have gone to great lengths to emulate it, but regrettably, they succumb to one too many of its pitfalls. This is a pure stoner/doom record, and unless you’re a massive fan of that music, White Lightnin’ simply won’t appeal to you. If you are a big fan of stoner/doom, then absolutely, this record is right up your alley.