As far as we’re aware there’s not much swamp, nor alligator’s, nor a need for moonshine in Italy….but try telling that to sludge-masters Hell Obelisco, who sound like they’ve come crawling straight out of cajun country with their blend of stoner, sludge, doom and death metal.
Featuring members from a multitude of diverse Italian metal bands including Addiction, Monumentum, Schizo, Tying Tiffany, Evilgroove and The Dallaz, Hell Obelisco’s pedigree is second to none and the results of this union speak for themselves.
With incessant sledgehammer grooves, anguished howls and growls and no end of thick-as-molasses riffs powering Swamp Wizard Rises‘ 9 tracks, the vibe recalls Pantera (think The Great Southern Trendkill) mixed with the gruff ferocity of the UK’s own sludge powerhouse Raging Speedhorn, the blue-collar catchiness of MuckRaker and an element of death/doom which adds some much needed diversity.
With oodles of “Oooh” (Tom G. Warrior style), you can feel the hairs on your chest thickening as you listen to the likes of “Teenage Mammoth Club”, “Voodoo Alligator Blood” and “High Speed Demon”, with the thickest, meatiest, dirtiest grooves driving testosterone round your body at an astonishing rate! These are the kind of tunes that demand you down a beer or two and dive headfirst into the throng, amped up and ready for the fight. However, as previously noted, Swamp Wizard Rises isn’t just about the sludge, they’ve an element of death/doom to their sound which ups the extremity ten-fold.
Novembre‘s Carmelo Orlando appears on “Biting Killing Machine”, adding a darker, more disturbing edge to Hell Obelisco’s infernal racket, transforming the band into a death/doom colossus capable of unbridled ferocity. This descent into deathly realms is also heavily present on the devastating “Earth Rage Apocalypse”, with singularly-monikered vocalist ‘Andrew’ transforming the track into a thrashing, grinding, crust-baked goliath which recalls the sounds of hell that were emanating from Birmingham, UK in the mid to late 80’s (still inflected with some sludgy Southern swagger of course).
Don’t expect anything too proggy, too techy or even particularly smart. Instead, fully embrace a set of mammoth-sized songs designed to ignite pits and fuck shit up and you’ll fall in love with this particular wizard. Magic lads, magic! 8/10
Hell Obelisco’s Swamp Wizard Rises will be released on March 23, 2018 via Argonauta Records.