German doom/sludge metal outfit OBELYSKKH will release their fifth album, The Ultimate Grace Of God, late this month through their long-running allies at Exile On Mainstream. Today, popular doom/rock music portal The Obelisk is hosting the worldwide premiere of the album’s massive title track.
Embodied by drummer/vocalist Steve Paradise, guitarist/vocalist Crazy Woitek, and bassist Seb Duster, OBELYSKKH is one of Germany’s heaviest exports. The band’s first album in five years, The Ultimate Grace Of God writhes with the thundering doom/sludge metal spine which carries through their entire catalog, yet as with 2017’s The Providence, more of the members’ grimy noise rock and caustic punk influences flesh out its skeletal groove.
Recorded by Moe Waldmann and Seeb Gerischer at Mach Ma Mecker Studio Breitenguessbach, mixed by Moe Waldmann, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Obituary, Mournful Congregation, Come To Grief), The Ultimate Grace Of God promises to be one of the genre’s top albums this year.
The new video was directed/filmed by bassist Seb Duster. The band’s Steve Paradise writes reveals with its debut, “The Song ‘The Ultimate Grace Of God’ is about all those too many people who care about only themselves, thinking they are the crown of creation. But they are wrong. This role is, by the grace of god, already taken by us. We tried to express that in the video. And we think that was impressively successful.”
The Obelisk takes a deep dive in their extensive review of the album alongside the video’s premiere, writing in part, “Too molten to be just-brutal, The Ultimate Grace Of God is an accomplishment in bringing together such disparate notions of what makes music progressive, and its warped otherworldliness is visionary in the challenge it issues to its audience.”
Watch OBELYSKKH’s engaging “The Ultimate Grace Of God” video first now through The Obelisk RIGHT HERE.
The Ultimate Grace Of God will be released on January 27th as a bundle of LP and CD as well as digitally. The CD, included with the LP, and digital contain two additional bonus tracks; there is no sole CD release. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE.
Having remained quiet in recent years, OBELYSKKH celebrated a brilliant return at the South Of Mainstream Festival in September 2022. The show, which consisted only of new material, already showed clearly where the sonic journey is going: the psychedelic elements fade into the background and make way for increased pressure and a furious reckoning with noise and slamming riffs, focused, direct, and without frills. The Ultimate Grace Of God is a child of the times and its challenges, whose story began in April 2017 with a walk through Antwerp: In the middle of an uninviting district with cold-looking apartment blocks, there is an unassuming, run-down hair salon with the words “THE ULTIMATE GRACE OF GOD” emblazoned across the shop window. The idea for the next OBELYSKKH album was born. At the time, no one could have guessed that it would take almost five years from then until the idea for a physical release was implemented.
When their second guitarist left right before the release of their prior album, The Providence, OBELYSKKH had to restructure. They remembered the punk attitude of the early days and decided to pick it up again as a classic bass/guitar/drums power trio. Influences from old noise heroes such as KARP, Todd, Jesus Lizard, and the Melvins became more noticeable when writing the new songs and they were written just as quickly as they were direct. A studio was found. A test recording by Moe Waldmann and Seeb Gerischer in the lovingly furnished Mach Ma Mecker recording studio in the remote solitude of the Franconian town of Breitengüßbach convinced everyone involved. Rosy future. New album almost in the can. It could start.
Then, Corona hit… Several studio dates were repeatedly postponed due to contact bans, until a small Summer gap finally opened. In a week, OBELYSKKH pounded The Ultimate Grace Of God in, live and raw – a few overdubs here and there, followed by gorgeous mastering by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Studios the beast was done and waiting to be released. The cover art was created by an AI, fed with keywords from the OBELYSKKH lyrics, and the beast was done and waiting to be released. But Corona was still there. A year passed and the album was gathering dust in a drawer. Then came the energy crisis. Then came inflation. The beer got so expensive that there was no money left to finish the album. And in no time at all it was 2022.
But what underlies through it all: the OBELYSKKH crew is tough, just like the music: a loud, angry hunk of noise. And despite all the crises, the hair salon in Antwerp is still styling.