Needs tightening up

Britain's own Obzidian signed a deal with Casket Records in March 2007 and this 8 track self-titled E.P is the band's first release for them. The first thing that strikes you is the dreadful front cover. The picture of a scull awash with red flame looks like it was knocked up in half an hour on a Commodore Amiga. But one thing I've learned in this job is to never to judge a CD by its cover, but in this instance you can. Obzidian's latest release sounds like a band that is not ready, unpolished, taken from the metal pubs and clubs too soon before they've had a chance to develop their craft.

To illustrate my point I will take the first track 'Progression of a Homicidal Mind'. The song starts well enough with some aggressive thrashing, but soon the drumming starts to lose it's timing, only slightly however and thankfully the song breaks to a Sabbath style riff before changing to an acoustic driven section. Before long the song is being drawn out longer than it needs to be and it's 3 minutes before the initial thrashing comes back in. The song ends and then suddenly starts again for a particularly ugly solo and then stops once more giving the impression the band forgot to play the solo and so stuck it at the end. It all sounds a bit messy and under rehearsed.

Matty's shouting vocals are pretty good but his clean singing at the start of 'Blind Faith' is poor and in need a lot of work. Barry Forster's lead guitar licks finally shines on 'Dead Blood' and is perhaps the albums best moment. He has an excellent feel for a solo it's just a shame that the drawn out style of song writing Obzidian adopt could mean the listener has switched off before they get that far.

The poor production doesn't help matters. The guitar sound is grating and bears little relation to the tight and arguably light-weight drums, and I'm sure there's a bass guitar in there somewhere. But even if this E.P had great production the basic ideas would still sound as if they were pre-owned by the likes of Xentrix and Sacred Reich.

It would be very easy for me to say Obzidian are talented bunch and are a promising act, but I feel they still have a lot of work to put into this band. I'm not here to nurse egos and I may have upset Obzidian with this review but all I'm offering is independent feedback they can either take on board or ignore. I applaud their signing to Casket Music, but I feel they've been plucked too early and need to focus on tighter song-writing, bigger riffs and more fluent dynamics. Good luck all the same.