“…a moody, slow burn that builds from clean, strummed minor chords to a full-on melodic and majestic black metal attack…” – Decibel Magazine
Portland, Maine-based atmospheric black metal outfit OBSIDIAN TONGUE presents their most epic work to date, with their new EP, The Stone Heart. Alongside the record’s cover art, track listing, preorders, and other details, an official video for its stunning title track, which features an otherworldly guest vocal appearance from Tanner Anderson of Obsequiae and Majesties, has been premiered exclusively through Decibel Magazine.
OBSIDIAN TONGUE was formed by Brendan Hayter (Shabti, Thrawsunblat, Obsequiae-live) who was shortly later joined by drummer Ray Capizzo (Falls Of Rauros, Shabti, Panopticon-live), emerging as a live act in 2009. The band’s emotive brand of epic and poetic black metal has been heralded by an intense fanbase who has experienced their Subradiant Architure (2012), A Nest Of Ravens In The Throat Of Time (2013), “The Lakeside Redemption” single (2015), and their masterpiece of psychedelic black metal, Volume III (Bindrune Recordings, 2020), or live throughout New England.
In response to the worldwide lockdown orders in early 2020, with all plans of touring in support of Volume III eliminated, the band sank deep into isolated creativity. Amongst those anxious, lonely, and hopeless circumstances, the only place to explore was deeper within. Having called themselves Introspective black metal for years, this term continues to ring even more true with their new EP, The Stone Heart.
The first release in a series of three that were completed between 2020 and 2022, The Stone Heart travels back into the dream world to face the unknown and dare to attempt making it known. The three-song EP presents a dense twenty minutes of new material that demands many listens to fully absorb. The melodic content is packed to the brim as OBSIDIAN TONGUE effortlessly merges prog, psych, post-punk, and classical music influences into their black metal foundation once again, creating a truly immersive sound both haunting and cathartic.
Self-recorded by the band, mixed by returning engineer Dave Kaminsky at Studio Wormwood, and mastered by Ryan Williams at Augmented Audio, The Stone Heart boasts the cleanest, biggest, and yet most pummeling sonic quality to date for OBSIDIAN TONGUE, approaching an almost Pink Floyd level of scope in the stereo field, this EP also marks a paradigm shift in the band’s career by introducing a bass guitar into the music, performed by Hayter in the studio, with friend and labelmate Brian Tennison (Eave) inducted as their live bass player.
The EP’s cover is graced by the work of late Swiss artist Peter Birkhauser, an acolyte of Carl Jung whose mind-bending collection of “dream paintings” was a great source of encouragement and inspiration for the band during the pandemic years. The last track on the EP, the instrumental “Bear At The Tree Of Light,” is named after the painting. For OBSIDIAN TONGUE, it is a perfect symbol for their steadfast perseverance after some dismal years, and their lifelong wild hunt for new artistic and visionary heights.
With the EP’s first single, its title track, Brendan Hayter writes, “The beginning clean passage is an unused piece from the volume three writing sessions. We never finished it, but during 2020, as a means of coping with the inability to tour in support of the album we cared so much about, the second half was written. There’s devastation but also perseverance woven throughout, cementing our priority to never stop writing no matter who hears the end result, even if it’s nobody. We owe it to ourselves as musicians to always be working.”
He continues about the video for the track, “Our music has always been especially visual to us – there’s constantly colors, textures, and strange scenes that occur and then reoccur when the compositions are taking shape. We’re thrilled to finally have commissioned our first video piece, after tireless searching for an artist whose approach seemed to match ours. Many thanks to Chariot Of Black Moth for bringing our song to life in such an intense way.”
The video is delivered through an ominous video created by Chariot Of Black Moth, which makes its public debut through Decibel Magazine who writes, “’The Stone Heart’ is a moody, slow burn that builds from clean, strummed minor chords to a full-on melodic and majestic black metal attack over the course of seven minutes. Guest vocalist Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Majesties) handles clean vocals in the first third of the song, adding a strong contrast to the harsh vocals that follow.”
Watch OBSIDIAN TONGUE’s “The Stone Heart” video first now at Decibel Magazine RIGHT HERE.
The Stone Heart will see digital release on February 2nd. Find preorders at Bandcamp HERE.
The Stone Heart Track Listing:
1. The Stone Heart
2. Winter Child
3. Bear At The Tree Of Light
The Stone Heart marks the first of a trio of conceptually linked releases including a second EP and a full-length album which will roll out in succession over the next year or so. Watch for more details to post over the weeks ahead.
OBSIDIAN TONGUE is booking live excursions surrounding the new EP including a headlining benefit show which doubles as the EP’s release show in Biddeford on January 27th. Additional live news is to be expected.
OBSIDIAN TONGUE Live:
1/27/2024 Sacred Profane Brewing – Biddeford, ME
Brendan Hayter – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Raymond Capizzo – Drums, Synth