Scorched Moon is a band featuring my buddy Trapper Lanthier (the band’s lead guitarist and one of the main songwriters), who actually attributes his love of Metal, to me! for introducing him to Blind Guardian through an anime music video I made back in 2003. Trapper has shown me some demos of his music over the past few years, which always impressed me, but this debut album, Obsidia, is on another level!
Obsidia is a sci-fi concept album, something that’s right up my alley. The lyrics and tone fit the concept well, and really help to transport the listener to outer space. Scorched Moon utilize quite a few prog metal staples, such as the combination of clean and harsh vocals, keyboard and guitar harmonies, technical guitar solos, and symphonic orchestration. It’s as if they’ve taken some of the best parts of all my favorite bands and blended them together masterfully.
Obsidia starts off with “Lost Adrift”, as a guitar fade-in showcases some tasty licks until the rest of the band kicks in with some heavy riffs. The opening line “Lost adrift in the darkness, the all-consuming space between stars” sets the perfect stage for the album.
Next, “No Turning Back” introduces some dissonant harmonies, which sets a dark tone for the song. Some heavy growls continue the descent into darkness, and show us that there is, indeed, no turning back at this point.
“Light of Day” changes the mood a bit, with a more triumphant and upbeat sound, like we’ve discovered some light in the darkness of space.
The mood changes again in “Violence” which opens with some great layered vocals followed by more growls. The use of piano in this song is very fitting, and the guitar solos compliment it beautifully.
Track five, “Triumph and Tragedy”, is a nearly 10-minute-long epic, which is just a treat from start to finish. This, in my opinion, is the highlight of the album. The instrumental talent of each band member really shines here.
Next up is “K-186f”, which has an official music video, and a badass one at that. It shows the band playing in a darkly lit brewery, imitating the confines of a spaceship’s interior. This song was a great choice for a video, as it’s not too long, has a great guitar solo, and is just a good example of the style of the rest of the album.
“Beyond the Singing Stars”, the one instrumental track on the album, starts off with some cool heavy guitar riffs and synths. The triumphant sounding keyboard riff at 1:45 stood out to me and reminded me of something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I mentioned this to Trapper, and he said it reminded them all of Dream Theater’s “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”, but that their keyboardist hadn’t even heard that album before he wrote it. It certainly is reminiscent of Jordan Rudess’s style, and is one of my favorite moments on the album.
“Silence Painted Crimson” features guest vocals by Vincent Jackson Jones of Æther Realm and is another longer song at over 7 minutes. The layering of harsh and clean vocals in this one is perfect.
“Doubt” closes off the album with a softer sound that’s stripped back with just some symphonic synths, piano, and vocals. There is some great theatric singing in this track, and it really serves as a fitting ending to this epic journey.
Overall Obsidia is a superb concept album, and quite an impressive debut. According to Trapper, years of effort have gone into this album, and it clearly shows. I’m very excited to see where they go from here and what they come up with next. I have a feeling that this album is going to open up many doors for Scorched Moon and that you’ll be hearing that name again in the near future.