When I heard Obsequiae would be coming out with a new album I was so excited to hear what Tanner Anderson has created. I can safely say that he has created a potential album of the year candidate for 2019. The album is consistent, unique, and beautiful there is not a weak part to be heard in “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings”. When I first heard of Obsequiae, I was very much intrigued because I thoroughly enjoy Tanner Anderson’s project Celestiial. Listening to the epic sound found in Celestiial I was itching to hear a pared down version that was succinct but still had that immense feel to the music, and that is how I found out about “Aria of Vernal Tombs”. I purchased the album right away and immediately got into the ethereal and medieval world of Obsequiae. After experiencing the beauty of “Aria of Vernal Tombs”, I could not wait to hear what “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” had in store for me.
The album begins with an amazing instrumental by Vicente La Camera Mariño, “L’autrier m’en aloie” this is song is astonishing in its beauty and really paints the listener a picture of natural landscapes with ruins scattered across green craggy islands. The instrumental ends and the sounds of wind, and birds take over; then the first chords kick in for the song “Ceres in Emerald Streams”. This track hits all cylinders and rips but has a subtle dreamlike vibe to the guitars that somehow eases the tension completely in the song. “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” has this sound going on throughout the album, which makes it incredibly consistent.
The next aspect of the album that really is a highlight is the muffled screams of Tanner Anderson, it really adds a mystique to the overall sound of “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” his vocals sound like they were recorded on a cliff side overlooking rivers, lakes and castles in disrepair. It gives an overall natural vibe to the music that fits the themes conveyed in all 12 tracks perfectly. In addition, the lyrical delivery in the songs is top notch and gives a sense of longing for the ancient world before technology took over. The lyrics show a deep yearning for places with overgrown hedges, vast gardens and mysterious woods nearby.
Another thing that makes this album brilliant is how atmospheric and crunchy the guitars are, I picture a bard somewhere in an old church playing electric guitar summoning the ancient spirits of old. There is such a sense of melody and beauty in the riffs and leads. I imagine in my head these songs playing while I ride horseback from the mountains, rivers, and through the misty meadows of Avalon. Each track on the “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” has this mystical, and fey-like imagery found throughout every menhir, sepulcher, and dark/dusty castle corridor. If you are itching to hear an album that will take you to different worlds, this album does it in spades.
In conclusion, I feel this album is brilliant, the imagery, overall sounds and vibe of the album hits all the right emotional notes. As I progressed through the album, I felt such wonderment and even a bit of sadness. There is a sense of longing for worlds lost to time and technology throughout the entirety of “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” it is album that allows you to journey inward to experience a world where your ancestors once walked and the sorrow they felt when man’s folly caused the impending doom of the natural world. “The Palms of Sorrowed Kings” is the millions of voices lost to time and decay, please listen to their message.