Saturday 24 February 2024

ALBUM REVIEW: The Obsessed, "Gilded Sorrow"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16th February 2024
Label: Ripple Music  

“Gilded Sorrow” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1.Daughter of an Echo
2.It's Not OK 
3.Realize a Dream
4.Gilded Sorrow
5.Stoned Back to the Bomb Age 
6.Wellspring - Dark Sunshine
8.Yen Sleep
9.Lucky Free Nice Machine
The Review:
The first album in well over half a decade, the first as a new four piece- Dave Sherman sadly departed this mortal coil in 2022- so we are in somewhat untested waters here. Well, to an extent; as Wino is The Obsessed in the same way that Lemmy was Motorhead.
He is in fine voice- it’s fully intact and not ravaged by age or touring. He sounds great. In fact, the whole album sounds great- a big beefy sounding thing with real drums and real playing. Musically, you know what to expect here: traditional doom metal and doom rock. This is the street level doom of Maryland, not the more epic variety bandied about by Candlemass or similar.
In that regard, The Obsessed are closer to their stateside cousins Pentagram and closer family members like Saint Vitus. It’s a style of doom I particularly like, and one I find endlessly entertaining. The opening one-two of “Daughter of an Echo” and “It’s Not Ok” set the stall out; grooves & riffs, Wino pissed off and switched on. The record is a little more cohesive than “Sacred” was- it hangs together nicely.
I mentioned rock as well as metal earlier. I say that as there is a distinctly classic rock vibe to the songs here, kind of like how there was with Place of Skulls and Victor Griffin’s best material. You could imagine Thin Lizzy laying down some of these riffs, or even Nazareth. It has that kind of timeless quality to it. Whether it be the mellow title track that creeps and teases out of the speakers or the more traditional doom of Stoned Back to the Bomb Age, this is very convincingly played and presented.
It’s not all absolute gold; a couple of song intros are a little drawn out for my liking and the record has some songs that are clearly stronger than others. But, for every “Wellspring” there is a “Jailene” and Wino’s story telling is on point throughout. The record is perfectly paced and curated at nine tracks- and closing statement “Lucky Free Nice Machine” is a minute lone instrumental. There is no need for any more than that and each track offers something different. Eight tracks was often the magic number back in the halcyon days of the 70s and so it proves today.
Overall, then, you get another quality album from The Obsessed, full of fire and venom as well as some pleasingly hazy vibes at times as well. Where this will sit in the band’s discography, I am not quite sure as repeated listens will bring big rewards, I think. For fans of Wino, this is essential and for fans of ‘doom’ that doesn’t have any songs, have a listen to this and enjoy some actual songwriting for a change. A still magnificent beast, refusing to toe the party line. Business as usual, then.
“Gilded Sorrow” is available HERE 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook