Released: 2014, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Pennsylvania’s Requiem for Oblivion cover a wide swath of styles on their full length debut, DARK TALES OF FORGOTTEN MINDSCAPES. At times sounding as much like Slipknot and Mudvayne as it does early Opeth and American Black Metal, the album suffers from a bit of an identity crisis at times, but overall delivers a satisfyingly heady blend of original metal.
The album is a sort of conceptual account of founder Steven Jacobson’s battles with addiction and the general vibe of the tunes reflect the dark nature of the subject matter. The nine songs on DARK TALES swerve from down-tuned seven string breakdowns to soft, gothic introspection – often within the same song. Most of the time it works surprisingly well; the main verse on “Tortured” is almost radio-ready groove metal, but it’s sandwiched between death growls and twin guitar harmonies, as is “A Grim Jest”, while “Thinking of Death” is a predominantly instrumental piece anchored by an acoustic guitar. Said otherwise, there’s a lot to enjoy here regardless of what your particular preference in metal is. Each of the album’s tracks offer up a ton of character and musical talent, but with so much stylistic morphing within the individual tunes, it’s easy to get lost if you’re not really paying attention. My hunch is that this was intentional, but after multiple listens I can’t help but feel that abridging some of the arrangements would’ve allowed the individual tracks to resonate a bit more. But I digress...
All things being equal, however, DARK TALES OF FORGOTTEN MINDSCAPES is a complex album that’s worth your ears and attention. For all the nuance and diversity across the album, the band comes across as tight and well-travelled, and the overall presentation is slick and professional sounding. Requiem for Oblivion appear to be a promising outfit with creativity to spare, crafting heavy music that blurs genre lines as well as your expectations. DARK TALES OF FORGOTTEN MINDSCAPES is available to stream and for purchase through the band’s Bandcamp page.