Oubliette’s sophomore record, The Passage, offers listeners around 40 minutes of melodic blackened death metal. It’s dark, as you’d expect, and full of progression, but is it entertaining?
Oftentimes in The Passage, we are taken on meandering voyages through the melancholy. “The Raven’s Lullaby” is one such example; the track opens with soothing piano, a quiet repose before the fuzzy riffs and evil voice kick in. Indeed, the snarl and typical brutality of death metal is not to be found in Oubliette’s sound. Track names such as “Solitude”, “Emptiness” and “Barren” all speak of loneliness and the bitter darkness that can bubble underneath in those telling times.
Haunting melodies fill out the fuzzy, dark textures and screamed vocals. There’s also a lot of classic black metal to The Passage. Songs flow well, bringing us into the sombre and out of the aggressive and vice versa without so much as a flicker. There’s an element of Opeth’s excellent prog death metal here when it come to the lighter side of Oubliette’s sound. The issue is, it isn’t as fun. The heavier side isn’t as brutal. There are no memorable riffs to write home about, at least.
Check out the lyric video for the single “The Passage” here.
Aside from “Elegy” – which carries an exciting, melody-filled central riff – boring riffs permeate the air. They linger, dwelling on moments that have already passed. The vocals are too one-note in their screams, but a clean sung female voice does come in from time to time to help break up the repetition. Yes, Oubliette were going for a bitter, sombre sound, but there is little bite. The Passage lacks for heaviness and memorable moments.
The Passage provides solid, but unspectacular progressive melodic blackened death metal. I would have loved more bite to go along with its melancholic bark. There are plenty of excellent melodies on show, however, which is a good take-home for when the nights get longer and darker.
The Passage Track Listing:
01. A Pale Innocence
02. The Curse
06. The Raven’s Lullaby
08. The Passage
Run Time: 39:23 Release Date: July 13, 2018 Record Label: The Artisan Era