Released: 2015, Self-released
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Man, there are a lot of bands named Obsidian, metal or otherwise, active and defunct. This makes it a bit tougher to find info on one specific Obsidian - the first one that comes up on a Google search for “Obsidian band” is some Liverpudlian alt-rock group – and won't make it easy for any of them to try to get “their” name out there.
The Obsidian in question here is most definitely not the U.K. version, who cite You Me At Six and Paramore as influences. This one is a quartet based in Vancouver – although it's got members who hail from Germany and France – and is more of the Gojira/Pantera school of groove/death/thrash metal, or so a search for “Obsidian Vancouver” will reveal. Perhaps they should consider going the Ghost route and adding “B.C.” - for British Columbia, naturally - to their name to draw a distinction. Just sayin'.
Anyway, Obsidian have just self-released a promising debut album with Time Erodes that deserves whatever attention the band can muster for it. On first blush, Time Erodes comes off as rather hardcore-ish, thanks to guitarist/vocalist Jason Campbell's bulldog bellow, but that's about as far as the “core” element ends up going – a couple of gang-shouted choruses aside. Yet his vocals fit quite comfortably with the crunching, chuggy grooves that power much of the material here, and effectively convey the venom of more pointed tracks like “My War” and “Useful Idiot.”
For all of their blunt edges, though, Obsidian have a knack for melody, or at least melodic flourishes. This very easily could have been an exercise in brutality, but the majestic sweeps that punctuate the thrashy title track, “Downfall” and “Broken And Defeated,” and the nifty hooks of “My War” and “Revolution Dead” give Time Erodes a welcome catchiness without sacrificing any oomph and help counter some of the belligerence of the “Walk”-like “Free Me” or the militant “On Your Feet.”
Times Erodes is a solid, consistent debut. Granted, it's not the most original or groundbreaking effort – starting with the band's name - but it does what it does quite well. And when all is said and done, it will put a pretty good-sized boot in your ass, which is probably more than you can say of the British Obsidian or the Hawaiian Obsidian, etc.