Shrouded Stygian Obsession rip open bloody pathway for death with mind-melting ‘Form Is Void’

Death metal generally is ugly and barbaric, which is often how we like it. But infusing some creativity and different types of insanity into the puzzle also makes for a good time, and that actually tends to be the blasts of death metal that stick to our ribs around here.

Just poring through the notes that accompanies the press promo of Stygian Obsession’s opus “Form Is Void” filled us with excitement right away. While we don’t know who is behind this machine—all we’re told is the members take their inspiration from the early genre pioneers, as their identities remain a mystery—there is something alluring not having any idea of the brains that dreamt this gnarly, atmospheric music. The tracks are grim and ferocious, digging into human subconsciousness, but they also bleed with creativity that goes beyond simply wanting to sound brutal for its sake. The bio suggests fans of bands such as Demigod, Grave Upheaval, and Dead Congregation are going to be down with this, but those who worship at the altar of Incantation also are likely to find a lot to like about these six songs. There’s something here that makes you feel extreme unease while your body is tortured.

“Stygian Obsession” begins the record situated in noise, as tribal drumming rumbles, a deep synth haze is born, and formless growls murmur before fading out and toward “Deep in the Bonds of Darkness,” which opens with churning riffs and gorging growls. Synth swims through the muck, while the band pounds away relentlessly, as miserable fury is unleashed, and the track comes to a sinewy end. “Gasping in Nausea in the Throes of Void” has guttural punishment and infernal growls, while the song crunches and thrashes, getting meaner and meaner. The guitars burn, and the growls swirl, with eerie keys bleeding into the picture, and feral growls blending in as the song fades away.

“Ceremonial Rites of the Abyss” ignites and mauls right away. The growls hiss, while the music thrashes recklessly, and the music boils and generates steam. Synth turns to lava, while a savage death assault is mounted, and mind-numbing drubbing blasts your brains into hell. “Vomit Empyral” launches gut-ripping smashing, as the band goes for the jugular before backing off and letting mournful melodies add more blackness. Out of that, the tempo tears flesh from the bones, as the pace rips hard, and the final dose of punishment leaves bruising. Closer “All That Are in the Graves Shall Hear His Voice” starts with drums crumbling and the song blasting shrapnel, leading toward total demolition. Damaged melodies and complete devastation team up, as the growls dizzy, mud thickens the recipe, and the back end destroys the ground beneath, sending everything off into the abyss.

You’re going to find very little information about Stygian Obsession if you peruse the internet, but all you really need to know is what is packed into this destructive package. This is death metal that challenges and melts boundaries, as its noxious fumes waft and infect your bloodstream. This is grim, punishing stuff that’s going to fill you up a lot longer than most servings of everyday death.

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