OBSIDIAN TONGUE: The Stone Heart EP From Maine Black Metal Duo With Members Of Shabti, Falls Of Rauros, Obsequiae-Live, And Panopticon-Live Out Today; Additional New Titles In The Works

photos by Stephanie Sintra

The Stone Heart, the captivating new EP from Portland, Maine-based atmospheric black metal outfit OBSIDIAN TONGUE, is out today and now streaming everywhere.

The first release in a series of three that were recorded by OBSIDIAN TONGUE – Brendan Hayter (Shabti, Thrawsunblat, Obsequiae-live) on vocals, guitar, and bass, and Ray Capizzo (Falls Of Rauros, Shabti, Panopticon-live) on drums – 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.

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 Stone Heart’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. The Stone Heart is a must-hear EP for devotees to the works of Agalloch, Wolves In The Throne Room, Panopticon, Enslaved, Obsequiae, and Windir.

Listen to OBSIDIAN TONGUE’s The Stone Heart everywhere including Bandcamp RIGHT HERE, and watch the 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 months ahead.

Following their release show last week, OBSIDIAN TONGUE is booking live excursions surrounding the new EP, having just confirmed their participation in An Evening Of Dark Arts III in Providence in May joining Falls Of Rauros, 1476, and more. Watch for additional news, live updates, and more from the band to post throughout the year.

5/18/2024 An Evening Of Dark Arts III @ AS220 – Providence, RI w/ Falls Of Rauros, 1476, more

“’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.” – Decibel Magazine

OBSIDIAN TONGUE have an incredible talent for layering rich, flowing melody into the genre’s obligatory full-on moments, and you’ll ride waves of ethereal magic as the song progresses. It’s orchestral and massive but so well-crafted that moments of soaring and crashing drama elide into one work of smeared beauty. It’s remarkable and a must-listen.” – Stereogum

“In just three tracks and twenty minutes of experience, we let ourselves be captivated by effective music, while discovering its subtlety and depth through repeated listening… With The Stone Heart, OBSIDIAN TONGUE returns to unleash universal and infinite emotions through a melodic and atmospheric post-black metal that will fill hearts of stone and souls of fire. [translated from French]” – Hard Force

“The songs basically combine all the stylistic elements that delight the keen lover of this type of music. Psychedelic somnambulistic and emotionally charged passages with clean guitars and clear vocals, as they float into your ear canals right at the beginning of the first track that gives the title, alternate with moments in which the distortion pedal is pushed deeply and expansive and cutting, clanging guitar walls, as well as furious blastbeat drumming dominate the sound. [translated from German]” – Powermetal.de