Obsidian Key, Loud, 2014
In essence, Obsidian Key is the vehicle for Brighton UK artist Sonic V (Paolo Zaino). Together with a batch of guests he has created this progressive metal album. I have no doubt that he has put a lot of time, effort, money and love into the project.
But I must confess I keep having trouble listening to the album as a whole. And after giving it considerable thought, I reckon it is the lack of focus. There are many styles and fragments of styles used on the album leading to an overload of ideas. Combined with various styles of singing, from death metal to opera and everything in between, a sometimes a bit disjointed interaction in the playing, and a production that can also be qualified as of the same constant high energy, this album demands a lot from the listener.
Yes it is funny to quote Rush in a song, even if it goes on a few bars too long. And sure, some parts are quite enjoyable. But I feel there is just too much happening a lot of the time. Also for me, the use of autotune on some of the vocals does not help either. At least, that is how they sound to me.
You know, maybe it is just me and my current state of mind. But I am sure that when Paolo / Sonic V calms down a bit and gives the songs and the production more room to breathe, he will be able to touch a lot more people with this project. The talent is there!