O.B.E.Y.: Romance Of Misanthropy

Seriously old-school gloom re-emerges from the Smoke

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Based in London, O.B.E.Y. are a little-known duo dedicated to the cause of dirty, 80s-sounding underground metal. There’s no shortage of bands doing that, of course, except that rather than ape aggressive, fast-paced black thrash, O.B.E.Y. play a fuzzy, feedback-soaked form of thrashy doom, ponderously paced and desperate in tone, each song seemingly the tormented confession of some deranged protagonist.

In terms of musical influences, Celtic Frost are clearly a major inspiration. In fact, the vocals sound startlingly akin to the occasional shouted parts in Darkthrone’s songs (themselves clearly Frost-indebted), and while these are highly effective when used sparingly (as on A Blaze In The Northern Sky), they’re an acquired taste when used exclusively.

This album is a fairly bleak affair, though it’s probably missing the point to say that Romance… – originally released in 2006 but now available once more – can be a tad depressing. The songs tend to be formulaic and occasionally uninspired, though they do often bear a certain downbeat charm.