One of my favourite stories, which seems to draw its roots from a Native American tradition, goes as follows. An old man is teaching his grandson about life, telling him that a fight between two wolves is going on inside every single person on this planet. One is evil: anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and ego. The other is good: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The wolf that will win is the one that we choose to feed.
It’s in the mindset of finding out more about the bad wolf and how to not feed it that I give records like Unfathomed of Abyss’ Arisen Upon Oblivion a try. In an impressive demonstration of perseverance and hard work, Kevin Price spent 14 years creating an album that is almost an hour long, a third of the length of the material Price came up with. He did almost everything on this album: guitars, bass, vocals, arrangement, and artwork – everything except the drums, which were played by Kevin Talley.
The album features a carefully chaotic layering of drums, guitars, bass, and vocals, bringing together various sounds often associated with black metal. The shorter songs – “The Figment Unadulated” and “To Nothing” at a little over five and a half minutes and “The Malevolence of Existence’s Continuation” at a little over eight minutes – are the heaviest tracks of the album, making the longer ones sometimes feel like the bridge between the main features. Not to say that the longest ones – the opener “To Unequal the Balance of the Cosmos” at almost 15 minutes, “Within the Void” at 12 and a half minutes, and “Within the Glory of Other Lights” – are not a voyage in themselves. Their length allows for the listener to let go of the edge of the void and let the whirlwind take you within and toss you around.
Price’s and Talley’s talents come through in all the songs in the album. The multiple layers make it sometimes difficult to appreciate each element that is being brought together, but sometimes the layers become thin enough that one or more of these elements pop out.
Kevin Price definitely has talent, drive, and determination, and has produced an album that technically was well put together. Fans of the genre will have a lot to enjoy in Arisen Upon Oblivion, but I continue to prefer music that starts with an exploration of our lower nature only to bring it up to the level of our higher nature. More information is available on the official website and tracks can be streamed on Bandcamp.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.