Pillorian are a star that shined twice as bright; perhaps even more so, for Obsidian Arc is a wonderful musical craft that keeps giving the more you listen.
There are excellent shades of clarity that are balanced with black metal tones, neither being overly bright or harsh; giving and taking as appropriate, and I think that is incredibly important.
For me, Pillorian delivered an album that never had me saying “I’ve heard this before”.
And, yes, whilst we can very easily pull on the Agallochian within the tracks, it’s not a burden. Also, let’s be real, who never wanted more Agalloch?
I think, like many who know this album, the shining piece is the last track Dark Is the River of Man.
Pillorian could have just released this by itself, and the effect upon me would be no less. I don’t mean that the rest of the album is lacking, it’s just that this is a kind of Magnum Opus.
You can follow the lyrics here into your own being, and in doing so, be taken on a journey that the rest of the album has been preparing you for.
The black metal darkness pulled you in one direction; the clean rhythms and harmonies submersed you in something else. Now you must reflect and conclude on something only you can.
Refining what is usually left alone, the result is fundamentally exciting and explosive, and with enough of a throwback to Agalloch whilst remaining fresh and original.