OBSIDIAN TONGUE: Metal Injection Premieres “Bear At The Tree Of Light” By Maine Black Metal Duo With Members Of Shabti, Falls Of Rauros, Obsequiae (Live), Panopticon (Live) As The Stone Heart EP Nears Release

photos by Stephanie Sintra

Metal Injection is hosting an exclusive premiere of “Bear At The Tree Of Light,” the epic new single from Portland, Maine-based atmospheric black metal outfit OBSIDIAN TONGUE. The track is the newest preview of their impending new EP, The Stone Heart, nearing release at the beginning of February.

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, “This instrumental is a unique piece in our discography – it’s born from an improvised series of melodies, repeated with various textures and tonal shifts. Some of our best material has come from improvisations that were luckily recorded, and this one really captures the urgency of being absolutely in the present moment, desperately interpreting segments of the infinite linear string of sound that musicians hear internally, often to the point of torment. It’s also a masterful and creative mix courtesy of Dave Kaminsky, adding to the sense of mystery and gradual triumph with several layers of audio decimation and bit-crushing. We dedicated it to the Peter Birkhauser painting that graces the EP’s cover by naming it after said painting, as the two works seem to resonate with each other in an uncanny way.”

Writes Metal Injection, “OBSIDIAN TONGUE, the duo featuring Brendan Hayter (Shabti, Thrawsunblat, Obsequiae live) and drummer Ray Capizzo (Falls Of Rauros, Shabti, Panopticon-live), is here to make your snowy Tuesday that much more wintry thanks to their instrumental track ‘Bear At The Tree Of Light.’”

Hear OBSIDIAN TONGUE’s “Bear At The Tree Of Light” first only at Metal Injection now at THIS LOCATION.

The Stone Heart will see digital release on February 2nd. Find preorders at Bandcamp HERE, and watch the previously issued video for the title track HERE.

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.

1/27/2024 Sacred Profane Brewing – Biddeford, ME