Obsidian Tide – Review & Interview
By Zohar Belkin
Formed in 2012 in the suburbs of Tel-Aviv, Israel, Obsidian Tide are Oz Avneya (guitars and clean vocals), Shachar Bieber (bass and harsh vocals) and Erez Nadler (drums and programming). The band’s debut EP Debris, an ambitious concept album, was released in 2015 and received critical acclaim worldwide. In August 2019, the band released their first full length album, Pillars of Creation – a 55 minutes long progressive metal masterpiece.
- Pillars of Creation
The Album is a beautiful creation which incorporates into it elements of Death Metal, clean singing and clean guitar parts coming straight from the world of the Progressive music, and many parts reminding the best of the Post Metal artists. All those together, OBSIDIAN TIDE members pulled together an overpowering experience for the audience. In fact, this is one of the most meaningful, thoughtful albums I ever came across. The cross between the Bass guitar and drums are beautiful, it merges together perfectly into a strong Rhythm Division and backs up perfectly the melodies coming from the guitars.
In the guest appearances in the album you will find great local musicians, but what really caught us was the guest appearance of Mike Lepond (SYMPHONY X) at the track “The Harbinger and the Millennial Vengeance”.
Overly, this is a mesmerizing piece of art. Not many musicians could pull such a beautiful masterpiece together, working towards with the greatest technicians around the world, such as the mixing engineer Jamie King (BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, AZAZEL and many others), artwork made by Dixon Jong (Intuitive Designs), and the recording of the album itself was made by the band. All those features make OBSIDIAN TIDE stand out in the local scene and have a huge potential to make a worldly break. I give this album a solid 10 out of 10.
- OBSIDIAN TIDE members – Questions
- Why the name OBSIDIAN TIDE? What stands behind that name?
This is a story that goes way back to 2012, when we just started playing together. We’d already had two or three songs, but we didn’t have a name yet. We sealed ourselves in a room, and decided we’re not coming out until we had a proper name. One of us of searched books and games, another searched records and bands that we liked, and the third scoured the internet. Eventually, after a few hours, we settled on Obsidian Tide.
The name also ties into the concept of our debut EP Debris, which is a concept album we released in 2015.
- From what we understand the Guitarist, Oz, playing on special guitars. What can you tell us about it?
Oz is playing on an Ormsby HypeGTR 6 string multiscale guitar, for 3 years now. Ormsby is an Australian guitar company owned by Perry Ormsby. The idea to get one came after a serious search that Oz did, for a versatile guitar which will perform at its best both in the studio and live on stage. After understanding the concept of multiscale and how it affects the tonality of the instrument (in comparison to regular scale), he decided to go with Ormsby and never looked back.
- How was it recording together with Mike Lepond? What are your feelings as a local band working with such musicians?
Working with Mike Lepond was great! We made contact through a mutual friend, and Mike was very professional and nice throughout the whole process. We feel really humbled to have gotten the chance to work with such a high profile musicians.
An interesting anecdote that came from that cooperation, is that when Mike sent us the line that he’s recorded, we didn’t get a “dry” source like we’d expected, like what we were used to working with. He sent us a full-blown, edited and perfected channel. It was a bit of a challenge to get our mix around that, but in hindsight it makes sense – high profile musicians like Mike have their signature sound, and they want it to be consistent in all the releases they appear in.
- Let’s talk about “Pillars of Creation” – What gave you the inspiration as a band to write the album? What stands behind the lyrics, and behind the artwork?
Pillars of Creation is a concept album, so behind the lyrics there’s a whole story. It’s about someone who goes on a journey of enlightenment, and their path along this journey. The album is written in chronological order – the journey begins in Pillars of Creation and ends in Magnanimous. The songs in between are what the character sees and learns in their path. The stories are mostly separate (although they’re all a part of the greater story of the album) and are inspired by many things; for example, Seven and Hiraeth are heavily inspired by The Kingkiller Chronicles book series (Shachar and Erez are big fans).
The album’s artwork represents a moment in Pillars of Creation, in which the character experiences a revelation and sees something grand and eternal before their mortal eyes. It was created by Dixon Jong, a Malaysian artist we found online. We knew what we wanted in the album cover, so we sent him an art description, and after a few back-and-forths, we had it.
When it comes to what inspired us musically, it varies quite a bit. For some moments, it was good stories or beautiful views. For others, it was emotions and influences from our daily life. According to Oz, when composing, he often closes his eyes and tries to express what he sees with his guitar.
MHF Magazine/Zohar Belkin