Audio Mixer: Billy Anderson .
For years it seemed like the men behind Germany's reclusive Obelyskkh were quite reluctant to transfer their psychedelic doom explorations onto tape. First conceived as a very casual musical collaboration between friends, both the group's lineup and its eventual material came together at a casual, organic pace. But when their self-produced first effort, 2011's Mount Nysa, began drawing rave reviews in underground circles and quickly sold through all copies printed in barely three weeks -- almost purely on that word of mouth -- Obelyskkh no longer had any place, or reason, to hide. As such, you can pretty much view the release of 2012's sophomore White Lightnin' through new label Exile on Mainstream as the quartet's reluctant coming-out party, and this broader exposure has come none too soon. Now, if one had to choose a single word to describe Obelyskkh's distinguishing approach to doom metal, that word wouldn't be "slow," "droning," or even "heavy," but "hypnotic," as averred by the space rock synth swirls that caress the rolling and tumbling riffs of instrumental opener "The Enochian Keys" (with shades of Australia's Alchemist) and the Druid mysteries of "Invocation to the Old Ones" -- not to mention the echo-laden howls (think UFOmammut or Sons of Otis) gracing a belated title track for that first album in "Mount Nysa." This album's title track cut boasts wafting "aaaahhhs" bearing a composite post- and alt-rock feel (though the very notion seems improbable, if not impossible), "Amphetamine Animal" reveals signs of a deep-seated hardcore aesthetic, and 1990s stoner rock is quite obviously a major source of inspiration for the band in general. Most important of all, though, is that mesmeric vibe maintained virtually all the way through White Lightnin', making this album impossible to ignore and any chance of Obelyskkh retreating into a state of relative anonymity very unlikely, indeed. Lucky for us listeners. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia