Obelyskkh: Hymn To Pan

German doom pilgrims traverse the earthly and the astral

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As proved by the likes of Stoner Kebab, despite its reputation and basic requirements of ‘smoke weed, downtune, play Sabbath very slowly’, transcendental-aimed stoner doom is notoriously difficult to get right. Not that you’d think it, however, from the strength of this third album from near-mythical German quartet Obelyskkh.

Although recorded only a few months after the completion of its predecessor, White Lightnin’, Hymn To Pan not only sees the group break at least partially free from the concentrated focus on total riff assault but also displays a masterful understanding of the importance and utilisation of dynamics. Hymn To Pan meets somewhere in the same mesosphere from which UFOmammut gaze down from the cosmos and the likes of Bongripper look up to from the drug sewer.

And whilst the eight minutes of tracks like The Ravens and Horse, both imbued with an almost Neurosis-esque intensity, contain enough bludgeoning riffs for any one LP, it’s the 24-minute Revelation: The Will To Nothingness, with its constantly fluctuating atmospherics and nauseating tantric meanders that provides the undoubted highlight.