Volume I: Subradiant Architecture

by Obsidian Tongue

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baudelagon thumbnail
baudelagon I'm not a fan of black metal but... with album like this I doubt on my taste... Full of invention, of very good musical instants. Never get bored...
Metallurgical Fire
Metallurgical Fire thumbnail
Metallurgical Fire It took me a while to give this a listen, but I have to say that it is one of my favorite intersections of traditional raw, atmospheric, and even progressive black metal. There’s a lot going on with this album, and it moves into various metal territories without losing its blackened foundations. It’s a great record. Favorite track: Becoming the Storm.
Wallow Within
Wallow Within thumbnail
Wallow Within Very balanced record overall. You'll find everthing on here that is usually to be expected in Black Metal. Except most bands do their thing pretty constantly while Obsidian Tongue mixes everything into one song. That of course can go wrong, but it doesn't in this case. It's a very diversified album that doesn't get boring as fast as others do.
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Their name illustrates the key principle that unites all of their songs into an expansive narrative of personal evolution through introspect, spiritual development and the incredible power of music. Obsidian is a pitch-black volcanic glass that is used traditionally to absorb negative energies, and encourage mental/spiritual clarity. Music is widely considered a universal language, and for band members Brendan James Hayter and Greg Murphy, their musical ritual is The Obsidian Tongue.

After 2 demos (2010 Demo and the 2011 Subradiant Architecture Demo), their debut album “Volume I: Subradiant Architecture” was recorded and mixed onto vintage tape machines in March 2012 at Mystic Valley Studio in Medford by Alex Garcia-Rivera. The sound is organic and raw, allowing the compositions to speak for themselves.

The record was graced with the artwork of Norwegian artist Namtaru, of “Namtaru Creations”. Her grayscale illustrations provide 3 key visuals to guide the listener through the musical journey. The connection between these 3 illustrations is left for the listener’s imagination to create.

Founding member and guitarist/vocalist Brendan James Hayter: “The first string of compositional attempts I made in the extreme metal style, naturally congealed into a 50 minute record named Volume I: Subradiant Architecture. These songs truly came together in a connected fashion, so it was only proper to call it a Volume. Furthermore, Subradiant Architecture is a term for the imaginary “Shadow World” that much of the music takes place in, the consistent closed-eye visuals this music has given me since I first began to explore it. It suggests that the gods designed and built this lightless realm in our psyche like a piece of architecture, for Man to explore the origins of his despair and draw wisdom and power from symbolic images. In this life such emotions as despair, anxiety, abhorrence for mankind, and the uncertainty of my fate both in this world and the next, have been my greatest guides. It is like a sense of duty to honor the evolution I have undergone through these chronic internal storms, and through the catharsis of extreme metal music.”


released May 8, 2012

Brendan Hayter - Vocals, guitars
Greg Murphy - Drums


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Hypnotic Dirge Records Esquimalt, British Columbia

Hypnotic Dirge Records is an independent record label and webshop based in Esquimalt, Canada active since 2008. Our intention and raison d'être is to release quality expressive and eclectic art through aural manifestations.

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Track Name: Hyper-Dimensional Blood Lotus
Through black fractals I fell
portal to this lightless land
Amongst the hunters
lurking through the minds of man
Agoraphobic clusters hath become the host for demons
to dance among the vestal web of flesh
Bound down in dreams by vapor lords
The incarnate nurses these wanderers through a life-long string of dreams
Timeless ritual for sustenance
“You fall asleep, unaware of what surrounds you in the darkness.
The dream world is the gateway.
You fall asleep unaware!”
He slithered in when they turned thoughts to chains
locking heads to ground for heaven gaze
Endure dreams of the blood lotus
until there’s no deciphering line.
Chains that once were thoughts become his reaches.
ritual ripping through time.
So cherished, the sustenance from blind men.
Skeletons remain

Infant promise slaked to serve the underworld.
So cherished, the sustenance from blind men.
Time moans on in the great field of harvesting.
Hell-born lotus cultivates.
Track Name: Frozen Leaves
Frozen leaves clustered in symmetry
'round the King laying against his Funeral Tree
an ornate farewell to the supreme form of Self
Before the roots become hands and take him in

Wisdom smiles from his half closed eyes
In this realm, it is my only light

It has rained in this great hole left in me
Thorns of hate wrap around the tomb of the progeny

His final light shone a sequence of memories
Moments that mustn't be forgotten
The hiding of the whispering stones
& the verses to be sung for the dead

And I wept

Wept for the violence of prophecy
the loss of love and of memory
The decrepit village wrapped in fear
The goddesses that will disappear

As the Soulless call "Crush them all!"
I run to the secret place
The lake in the dream state
Looking for the stones
Before shadow legions know
The source of wisdom remains safe!

Wept for the silence that would give way
to the sound of life being swept away
Blood will wash all trace of sovereignty
What will this mortal war leave of me?

The walls of spirit force
suspending this primal realm
ripped down by shadow arms
only weakness will remain

Only weakness will remain now
Track Name: It Dangles from the Bones
Where torture hit soil, a forest now stands
and therein lies a famished sect of man
“Devoid of the will to conquer despair
we fall to lethargy in the silence of cold airs
When fear descends...none defend”
Fevered spine Imperial
Crooked posture marks our days
Courage has been denied structure
It dangles from the bones
Blowing in the wind
Strings of black flesh
Hanging off a skeleton of disappointment

Dreams of no light
Landscape under the color code
Dreams of no light
Many graves but one name

Ghost gasping brings an endless noise
A vacuum sound-source from brittle jaw
Its astoundment of itself
As it crystallizes in decay

Torture hit soil
The forest rang for days
With the call, the call
The bitter search this way
Track Name: Distant, Residual
Impaled to the curse
this forest's goddess cried
when she was forgotten...

"A famine on you,
forsakers of spirit
Look what you have done to me
The sacred world rots now
Distant as I am,
A spiritual residue,
I can still conjure the strength
To place this curse on you"

Impaled to the curse
our dying goddess cried...
Track Name: Into the Heart of Night
After the fall from innocence,
I bade my remaining honor to an Unknown
Whirlwinds of unearthly screams
spoke the name I had before the descent.
Past life remembered
Past plight restored
The One Eye will behold life within the sorrow.
Ancient threads will stream between my sullen human eyes
Reborn now, and somehow, the sons and daughters of light
Will learn of my reprieve into the Heart of Night
“There is another plane on which the pentaform can be sustained
Won’t you follow me through the archway, and don your skin with the waters of banished lore?”
I cannot refuse
I cannot resist
The only way to honor my pain is following him

Grinding down the towers of primordial misery

Will the skeletal monolith be carried away by the eyes of my intention?
Will the whispering stones edify me to transform these bones to gold?

Wilting will becomes a gateway to ancient lands of tangled wood
Trees shaped like humans suffering: Honor to the moments that made us complete…

Is our weakness truly weak?
Is our collapse truly a Loss?
Crawling closer, through streams of tears and thorns of hate,
The Shadow of Man nears the mouth of the Cavern of Absolution

And shadows perform ceremony,
through our misery
We are instruments to the Invisible
Track Name: Moonroom
Live in night - perceive the rings beyond men
lay for days until they all settle again
forgetting flesh - awareness shifts to the trees
lunar glow: surrender to unite with him
I see my bones deatomize
brain turns to gas and goes
I fill the space with the rays
Sustain this blessing
Hades fires peripheral - I am between the plains

Man again, forced to resume enemy form
hope the equilibrium has changed
did any detestable thought suffocate in the leaves?
Never made it back inside, when the hole closed again?

The moonroom needs kin to live on
The lunar hum growing fainter now
Thin now - life forms bridging beast and sky
As a creator I have mere remains

Was I born to bury phantom births of the Moonroom??
Conception marred by ancient order - the serpent deemed such unity unallowed

With body as a chapel and mortal trials a sky
I forge constellations with mummified remains
Track Name: Becoming the Storm
Out of skull in a winter haze
Shaman vapor cements once again to guide me
through winds of escape
I felt it first in the locking of my body
frozen yet shifting a new life
In Ice

I'll return with a stone
an alchemical piece of sky
I died to obtain
An antidote found only in the ether
of blizzard greys
This stone will rest on all our hearts
in order to survive
In Ice

Transforming into something unknown
Primal Ascent
A union, a secret, a tradition
Buried in ice

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