It’s not often that an album is actually scary. I know that plenty of metal bands set out to strike fear into the listener and fail miserably. It’s doubtful that Obiat is a band that wanted to scare it’s fan, but with Eye Tree Pi they’ve achieved that in spades. Hailing from the U.K., Obiat third effort calls upon some of the modern prog elements that bands like Mastodon and Neurosis use, combine it with Cave In’s spaciness, and hold onto enough melody to keep the listener hooked.
Ironically, this record would play out as a really great soundtrack to a film. It moves in quiet/loud statements that build emotion and intensity as it progresses. But just when you’re ready for the album to blow it’s top, it comes back down and finishes itself in a eerie calmness. Take tracks like “AA54089”- the song barely holds onto the tracks it barrels down and brings you to a near-crash before haulting. “NoMad, NoMind” is the standout song that fills the void between modern doom and Fugazi’s intelligence in songwriting. As the centerpiece to the album, it serves as a link between the two dynamics that Obiat strongly relies on to make an album move along at the proper pace. The third track, “Serpent’s Rites”, almost feels like it’s telling you the story of the characters involved in the film showing in your head.
As modern heavy music is seeing bands like Baroness and Mastodon bring a proggy/doomy style to the masses, bands like Obiat are poised to see an increase in their fanbase. Eye Tree Pi is a consistent, solid rock record with sweeping movements and enough emotion to draw in the most hip of music fans, but still has enough dirginess to keep the diehard stoner rock fan holding on. It’s early in the new year, but if this record is any indication of what’s to come, Small Stone Records is going to have one helluva year.