The Ultimate Grace of God


Is there such a thing as Psych/Punk/Doom? If not, I think OBELYSKKH may have just […]
February 20, 2023
Obelyskkh - The Ultimate Grace of God album cover

Is there such a thing as Psych/Punk/Doom? If not, I think OBELYSKKH may have just invented it. This trio out of Fürth, Germany has a unique take on Metal. It's decidedly analog and fuzzy, which says old school Doom, but also eccentric in a raw and heavy way and a bit on the trashy side. Not thrashy, but trashy like garage punk. And I kind of dig it. Their fifth full-length album, "The Ultimate Grace of God," hit the scene on January 27, 2023 via Exile on Mainstream Records. I found myself coming back to it over and over again like a bad itch or a great drug.

So, let's get some history on this band because five albums. I mean, wtf. They formed in 2008 in the Fürth/Nürnberg area. And yes, that's Nuremburg for the rest of us. Initially OBELYSKKH started as a project but by 2011 they had solidified into a band. Over the years they gathered more and more acclaim but somehow maintained their core sound and do-it-yourself ethos. The lineup has morphed several times, but they still managed a steady stream of releases with the obvious exception being the year of our plague. This, their latest release, was actually recorded in 2020 and has only just now found its way to market.

"The Ultimate Grace of God" runs for over 81 minutes across seven tracks. If you're doing the math, two tracks alone account for 30 minutes. The surprising thing is that this isn't a hyper-low bpm album-so that hour and eleven minutes isn't achieved by preternaturally sustained riffs. It's also not an explorative Prog album-so no sifting through variations of phrasings, declensions, and music theory shit. This is just a bunch of really cool music delivered in a batch of styles that fit together at odd but surprisingly congruent angles.

The cover art is apparently AI generated, which I think perfectly captures the ethos of this band-modern DIY with a hint of the apocalypse. Apparently all sorts of people can pick out AI generated art from any lineup but I'm not one of them. Feels like a lot of artists should be pissed at this latest development, but Skynet needs to express itself as well.

Thematically . . . I don't know if there is a unifying theme behind this album. My best guess without the benefit of lyrics sheet is nihilistic commentary about the soup of transcendental ravings that pollute our planet and cranial space. The song titles sound like the tracklist off of a lost Rory Erikson album.

Musically, there are a metric fuckton of intriguing tracks. My pick of favorites lies in the fat mid-section of the album from track two through five but especially "The Ultimate Grace of God" and "Universal Goddess." I also like the jazz-like breaks in "Black Mother." The juxtaposition of Doom and Jazz is a crazy mix. Think SABBATH meets Zappa and they have an unholy offspring who moves to Germany and records a post-metal song about Satan's mother.

I want to give short mention to the last two tracks-"Dog Headed God" and "Sat Nam (Vision)"-because I think they're going to be divisive. Personally, I enjoyed them. Together they practically make up an album (or EP) of their own. The last part of "Dog Headed God" and pretty much all of "Sat Nam (Vision)" feature heavy synth and electronic flourishes. The latter ventures deep into an industrial/funereal landscape that is easy to become lost in. I get the feeling a lot of fans who prefer riff dominant Metal might be turned off by this. But if Atmospheric is your thing, score!

I don't know what I was expecting when I picked up "The Ultimate Grace of God." The title suggests Evangelical Folk, but the cover art says Back Away Slowly. You need a lot of head space to take in this album but the final verdict is "utterly intriguing." I'm compelled to go explore the rest of their discography and there is a very good chance I'll be converted to the awful truth this band is laying down. Join me.

8 / 10









When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"The Ultimate Grace of God" Track-listing:

1. Aquaveil
2. The Ultimate Grace of God
3. Black Mother
4. Afterlife
5. Universal Goddess
6. Dog Headed God
7. Sat Nam (Vision)

Obelyskkh Lineup:

Steve "The Krusher" Paradise - Drums
Crazy Woitek - Guitars, vocals
Seb Duster - Bass

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram