Release DetailsLABEL Profound Lore Records
RELEASED ON 10/15/2013
Obsian sees Castevet move even further into prog territory with the bleaker aspects of the music that were on display with the debut Mounds Of Ash largely excised, or, at least, given much less emphasis.
Much hand wringing is made of the nebulous subgenre of post black metal, particularly when a band also displays nods to post hardcore/ metallic hardcore. Both subgenres, and/ or the combination thereof, are known to elicit cries of “Apostasy!” from genre purists, particularly those of the older generation brought up on a steady diet of firmly pigeon holed bands. Most of the time it’s easy to distinguish between the two as bands will usually display characteristics or genre aesthetics that will place them in one camp or the other. Well, replace the “metallic hardcore” with prog, and you have New York’s Castevet in a nutshell.
Although the vocals from Andrew Hock have a certain shouted feel to them, Castevet is much more concerned with injecting its fascination with prog bands such as Yes and, to a lesser extent, Voivod, into its musical output rather than just burning the paint off the walls in a flush of anger derived from metallic hardcore. Obsian sees Castevet move even further into prog territory with the bleaker aspects of the music that were on display with the debut Mounds Of Ash largely excised, or, at least, given much less emphasis. Obsian is not exactly upbeat in theme or content, but the progressive aspects of the music are much more lush and greater in depth, giving the music a vibrancy that I find to be missing in most post black metal.
The fascination with prog giants such as Yes is evident in the wonderful combination of bass lines, syncopated drumming, and fluid guitar work that appears in songs such as “Cavernous”, a standout track, where such influences dominate the music. Other moments take on a more dissonant tone, such as in “The Curve”, with guitars reminiscent of other mainstream post black metal acts such as Woe. Castevet also dramatically tones things down and fully embraces the prog within the dreamlike qualities of the album’s closer, “The Seat Of Severance”.
Castevet is probably much closer to other current prog bands, such as Intronaut, that are mining the darker themes of metal more than anything else. Essentially, this means that listeners with a taste for dark prog are Castevet’s intended audience; but, casual listeners will appreciate the dark themes and soundscapes that Castevet elicits with stellar musicianship and dynamic songwriting. Genre purists, on the other hand, may be somewhat put off.