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Eye Tree Pi


Laz: Voice
Raf: Guitar
Alex: Fretless Bass
Neil: Drums

Recorded at Foel Studios - Wales, UK.
Recorded and Engineered by Chris Fielding.
Mixed and Mastered by Billy Anderson.
Artwork by Mihály Gergely.

Reviews for Eye Tree Pi...

The Sleeping Shaman

I freely admit, before getting into the meat of this review, that I had previously written Obiat off as one of 'those' London-based bands. Y'know, the eternal London support bands such as Breed 77, End Of Level Boss and the like who seem to operate on some kind of 'support timeshare' slot at shows in our capital city. Why, you'd think that there WERE no other bands in That London!

So, having previously made assumptions about Obiat, I approached reviewing 'Eye Tree Pi' with some trepidation, fearing yet more half-baked substandard alterna-metal with stoner leanings, but what I actually heard, however, was something ELSE entirely....

I always remember a sketch on The Benny Hill Show in which he used a blackboard to illustrate the reason that one should never make assumptions – when one ASSUMES, one makes an ASS out of U and ME – and THAT is what I have done. I am, however, man enough to admit it and to issue an apology to Obiat...

I am sorry for assuming that Obiat would be more half-arsed amateurish cack-handed British drivel, I was VERY wrong indeed.

What Obiat ARE is, in reality, some of the most top-flight progressive metal that I have heard in quite some time. Equal parts Tool, Earthtone9, System of A Down at their most expansive and Oceansize at their most aggressive, Obiat are truly a band of SUBSTANCE.

Opener 'Poison Thy Honey' draws the listener in with a languid introduction of cleanly reverbed guitars and a low, breathy moan of a vocal before kicking in VICIOUSLY with a scorching, juddering guitar riff, piston-like drumming and a haunting semi-operatic ascending vocal. Obiat lurch from that into a hynotic bass and drum-led shuffle with a slowly building guitar and understated vocal, then crash back into a more aggressive – but no less hypnotic – groove topped by a plaintively droning vocal line. A slightly-delayed and reverb-drenched guitar line develops that has strong overtones of Adam Jones sinewy guitar parts for Tool, but this too submerges back into the aggressively choppy hypno-riff that carries the track.

These aggressively-hypnotic guitar riffs are something that Obiat excel at – guitarist Raf really makes the most of being the sole axe-slinger in the band, thickening his sound up with subtly applied delay when needed, but knowing that bassist Alex will NEVER let the power drop out, no matter what tricky manoeuvres he pulls out of the bag. Vocalist Laz effortlessly keeps up with the musical mathematics happening around him, channelling an immensely malleable and powerful voice that encompasses the lows of Tom Waits and the highs of Chris Cornell across the spread of the album, and often across one SONG. 'Eye Tree Pi' is riddled with subtleties and atmospheric moments, and the four musicians MORE than have the chops needed to do them justice. Such as the supremely restrained final track 'House Of The Forgotten Sins', that plays out like an extended version of the quiet tension of Tool's 'The Patient', stops dead at an abyss of nothingness, then continues in a way that recalls the intricate, yet low-key, moments of Gastr Del Sol.

From the CRUSHING, loping, Iron Monkey-play-Prog main groove of 'Delights', to the whisperingly minimal desert-scape that closes it and bleeds into the Oceansize-gone-sludge haze of 'Serpents Rites'. The spooked-out, shimmering final section of 'Serpents Rites' kaleidoscopic, shimmering space that lights out for the territories inhabited by Across Tundras sits deftly next to the epicly tricksy-yet-bulldozing math-metal of 'NoMad NoMind', and the borderline ambient pastoral feel of 'Passive Attack' completely naturally.

The lumbering doom that moves through psychedelic metal and crashes into a supremely Mars Volta-esque syncopated jazz-fusion section in 'AA54089' sounds like it could be being played by MARTIANS, so odd is the juxtaposition, but it WORKS, by Crom, it WORKS.

Obiat have GOT it – call it the knack, mojo or hoodoo, but they have GOT it, in SPADES.

- Paul

October 16th, 2010

The Blood Sprayer

It’s not often that an album is actually scary.  I know that plenty of metal bands set out to strike fear into the listener and fail miserably.  It’s doubtful that Obiat is a band that wanted to scare it’s fan, but with Eye Tree Pi they’ve achieved that in spades.  Hailing from the U.K., Obiat third effort calls upon some of the modern prog elements that bands like Mastodon and Neurosis use, combine it with Cave In’s spaciness, and hold onto enough melody to keep the listener hooked.

Ironically, this record would play out as a really great soundtrack to a film.  It moves in quiet/loud statements that build emotion and intensity as it progresses.  But just when you’re ready for the album to blow it’s top, it comes back down and finishes itself in a eerie calmness.  Take tracks like “AA54089″- the song barely holds onto the tracks it barrels down and brings you to a near-crash before haulting.  “NoMad, NoMind” is the standout song that fills the void between modern doom and Fugazi’s intelligence in songwriting.  As the centerpiece to the album, it serves as a link between the two dynamics that Obiat strongly relies on to make an album move along at the proper pace.  The third track, “Serpent’s Rites”, almost feels like it’s telling you the story of the characters involved in the film showing in your head.

As modern heavy music is seeing bands like Baroness and Mastodon bring a proggy/doomy style to the masses, bands like Obiat are poised to see an increase in their fanbase.  Eye Tree Pi is a consistent, solid rock record with sweeping movements and enough emotion to draw in the most hip of music fans, but still has enough dirginess to keep the diehard stoner rock fan holding on.  It’s early in the new year, but if this record is any indication of what’s to come, Small Stone Records is going to have one helluva year.

- Wes

February 24th, 2010

Thee Big Black (UK)

Obiat is a name that should be familiar to anyone who’s been keeping an eye on the UK stoner / doom scene. With an impressive list of support slots under their collective belt (Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Ramesses, My Dying Bride, The Atomic Bitchwax . . . the list goes on) there’s a fairly good chance that if you’ve been going to stoner / doom shows in London and the South East of England, you’ve probably seen this lot live at some point. Having recently (almost twelve months now) signed to Small Stone Records, Obiat will no doubt be hoping that Eye, Tree, Pi their third full length album will make them the band that every self respecting stoner band will want to support.

Opening track Poison the Honey creeps into life with the eerie drone of bellows, setting a tone and mood that is to last for the duration of not only the track but also the entire album. When the satisfyingly heavy riff kicks in Obiat leave you in no doubt that if the rest of the album is as impressive as these opening minutes then they are indeed a band that any self respecting stoner / doom outfit will want to get on a bill with.

Poison the Honey, and for that fact the whole of Eye, Tree, Pi is, at least to my ears, an great mix of the sonic bombast of doom and the epic feel that we’ve come to expect from post-metal bands like Isis and Mouth of The Architect, despite that comparison Eye, Tree, Pi never loses direction or slips into the sort of self indulgent musical meanderings that are there to tempt bands straying into post-metal waters.
The guitar sound on this album can only really be described as immense. Switching from a sweet, clear, almost Cure-like feel to a gloriously solid distorted tone, the overall affect is both engaging and thoroughly satisfying. Whenever the impressive vocals are present they soar into life and fade under a sea of reverb, ebbing and flowing throughout the album making the tracks something the listener can genuinely get lost in. The truly epic Serpent’s Rites (which at over twelve minutes long is unquestionably the albums centre piece) shows off Obiat at their very finest, everything that is great about this band is on display in this one track. If Serpent’s Rites is a sign of what Obiat are capable of then I think it’s safe to expect big things from this band.

Like Taint (who, incidentally, have also worked with Eye, Tree, Pi’s producer Chris Fielding) Obiat have managed to create a sound that belongs to them alone, no mean feat by anyone’s standards. Keep an eye on Obiat, if the stoner / doom scene continues to grow in popularity they will be one of the bands at the top of the heap.

Issue # 5

April 7th, 2010

Uber Rock (UK)

This is the third album from psychedelic post-doom pill-shovelers Obiat. And it pricked up my interest from the opening track 'Poison My Honey'; heavy, intense, psychedelia, that you could simply class as 'stoner rock' ala Kyuss' 'Blues For The Red Sun', but this album offers the listener a hell of a lot more.

The band has a membership of an Italian, a Pole, a Hungarian and a lone Brit and was recorded in Wales, by Chris Fielding (Napalm Death, Electric Wizard) and mixed by Billy Anderson (Melvins, Mr Bungle) in San Francisco.

I think without raving too much about this, it quite simply is one of the best albums I've heard in its class or style in a long while. Think Screaming Trees 'Uncle Anastasia', mix in the aforementioned Kyuss, with hints of Soundgarden, but with a real psychedelic feel and you should get the picture. This is one fucking scary album, powerful, intense, with an almost Eastern feel at times; the bands live performances must be truly awesome.

Fans of Queens Of The Stone Age need to get into Obiat now, with track titles like 'Passive Attack', 'Serpents Rites' and 'House Of The Forgotten Sins' what more do you need?

Enjoy......but not alone in the dark.

- Nev Brooks  

March 30th, 2010


Obiat have always been an awesome live experience but so far been unable to truly capture that huge psychedelic sound in the studio. That is until now. ‘Eye Tree Pi’, their third studio album, really captures the enormous atmospheric psych-metal that characterises their sound. There seems to be a progression as far as their material too, with a much edgier feel to the music. Not mired in the almost traditional doom/stoner genre that they sprang from but rather reaching out into a more prog metal exploratory vibe. Opening track ‘Poison Thy Honey’ fools the listener into a mellow vibe for a few minutes before smashing into a huge and beautiful stomp of a riff with Vocalist Laz Pallagi really coming into his own using soaring harmonized vocal parts. Standout track is definitely ‘Serpent’s Rights’ a massive twelve minutes episode that, as the title suggests, snakes from mellow to brutal, to weird even taking in some Obituary groove-grind moments. Imagine Pink Floyd in a serious fistfight with Opeth while Black Sabbath shout encouragement and Sound Garden get the beers in and you’d may be a quarter way to appreciating what this record sounds like. This is the sound of a band that’s found its feet and ain’t moving for anyone.

- Pete Theobalds

March 24th, 2010

Classic Rock (UK)

Pan-cultural, pie-eyed, psychedelic post-doom pill-shovelers Obiat have one of the thorniest, twistiest family trees ever. One dude’s from Italy, another’s from Hungary, a third is from Poland, and the fourth guy, Neil…well, he’s the British one, naturally. Obiat currently call the UK their home, but clearly, theirs is a global concern, and the music ably demonstrates that. A deep, disquieting headphone trip that drifts woozily from Middle-Eastern tone poems to crunching neo doom, serial killer frash, and no-helmet space prog, Obiat’s constantly shifting sound is like a sentient iPod that secretly plots to kill. while it lulls you into a bludgeon rock trance.
The band formed in the late ’90s, in the Polish town of Szczecin. Guitarist Rafal Reutt is the founding member; originally a three-piece, the band developed their fluid approach to heavy rock in Poland, but it wasn’t until Reutt moved to London and began searching for a solid line-up that he chanced upon the ‘voice’ of Obiat – Hungarian singer Lazlo Pallagi. The two Eastern Europeans bonded culturally and musically, and Obiat’s acid-stuffed calliope ride to oblivion began in earnest.
The band has so far released three albums, each one top heavy with guest-musicians, weird instrumentation (a hurdy-gurdy?), and a wild sense of experimentation. Their latest, Eye Tree Pi (Small Stone), is perhaps their most cohesive, groove-oriented work yet. It’s still nuts, though. The album was produced and engineered by Chris Fielding (Napalm Death, Electric Wizard) and mixed by dop -rock super producer Billy Anderson (Melvins, High on Fire, Mr. Bungle). Given that sort of pedigree, it goes without saying that it will melt your brain into a puddle. Tribal and hypnotic and heavy as Sabbath on a steady diet of french fries, Eye Tree Pi is everything you could possibly want from a bunch of dudes who grew up under the yoke of Communism, and had to buy their Led Zep records under bridges at midnight.
So what do you say we taste some of this madness for ourselves? Here, courtesy of Small Stone Records, is Serpent’s Rites, from the new album. It’s sort of like an alternat -dimension Metallica freaking out in the bathroom during a Hawkwind show. Something like that.

- Sleazegrinder

March 14th, 2010

Glow Theme

It’s not often that an album is actually scary.  I know that plenty of metal bands set out to strike fear into the listener and fail miserably.  It’s doubtful that Obiat is a band that wanted to scare it’s fan, but with Eye Tree Pi they’ve achieved that in spades.  Hailing from the U.K., Obiat third effort calls upon some of the modern prog elements that bands like Mastodon and Neurosis use, combine it with Cave In’s spaciness, and hold onto enough melody to keep the listener hooked.

Ironically, this record would play out as a really great soundtrack to a film.  It moves in quiet/loud statements that build emotion and intensity as it progresses.  But just when you’re ready for the album to blow it’s top, it comes back down and finishes itself in a eerie calmness.  Take tracks like “AA54089″- the song barely holds onto the tracks it barrels down and brings you to a near-crash before haulting.  “NoMad, NoMind” is the standout song that fills the void between modern doom and Fugazi’s intelligence in songwriting.  As the centerpiece to the album, it serves as a link between the two dynamics that Obiat strongly relies on to make an album move along at the proper pace.  The third track, “Serpent’s Rites”, almost feels like it’s telling you the story of the characters involved in the film showing in your head.

As modern heavy music is seeing bands like Baroness and Mastodon bring a proggy/doomy style to the masses, bands like Obiat are poised to see an increase in their fanbase.  Eye Tree Pi is a consistent, solid rock record with sweeping movements and enough emotion to draw in the most hip of music fans, but still has enough dirginess to keep the diehard stoner rock fan holding on.  It’s early in the new year, but if this record is any indication of what’s to come, Small Stone Records is going to have one helluva year.

- Wes Allen

February 24th, 2010

Metal Zone (Greece)

This is the third release by the London based outfit Obiat,(although the members of the band are from Poland and Hungary) . The successor of the very good album “Emotionally Driven Disturbulance” is entitled “Eye Tree Pi” and it’s a great mix of Stoner rock with many post elements.

If I had to mention a few bands to define the sound of Obiat these bands would be YOB and Isis, the second due to the great resemblance of Obiat’s drum sound with them. Of course in this album you can find many psychedelic parts that along with the clean voice of Laz Pallagi make a really “trippy” outcome for instance check the track “Delights”.

The most positive element about this album in my opinion is the great mixing and passing from these post rock psychedelic parts to heavy stoner and up-tempo extremely heavy riffing “Serpent’s Rites”
From my personal view I have to admit that the listening of the album was one of those times that you really enjoy the whole “review” thing, further reviewing would be unnecessary, just visit the band’s my space page, take a good listen to their sounds and if you dig the whole outcome, just buy the album, an album that I really found interesting and it was a pleasure for me to listen!

Lampros “ Witchfynder” Tennes

February 25h, 2010

Terrorizer Magazine

London/Reading via Poland, based pysch troupe Obiat have busied themselves over the last few years,resulting in album number three of swirling, dark, psychadelic churn. There really are a great deal of influneces in here,combining the new fetish for cult 70's revivalism (The Devil's Blood, Jex Thoth, Blood Cermony) with everything from a weary Shannon Hoon croon to the sludgy heft of NOLA's finest in Crowbar. Obiat do it exceedingly well though, and the band's diverse sounds mix cohesively into brute heavy tracks. There's an oppressive feel, and a kind of magic, invocatory feel going on, bubbling under the surface in truley sinister fashion. It isn't all leaden though, as 'Serpent's Rites' shows - slowing down, quietening, it has a dreamy feel that balances well against the rest of the almighty push around it. Or at least it does until the Big Muff guitar comes in.


- Ciaran Tracey

January 29th, 2010


For those who tread the murky depths of the Doom Metal genre, the name ‘Obiat’ may well already be met with much enthusiasm, seeing as this is the third album from the quartet and also due to the fact that they have now shared a stage with many iconic figures such as Electric Wizard, My Dying Bride and Orange Goblin. Whilst the genre has many notable luminaries, there are few I have heard so far that convey such a varied atmospheric sound- from stripped down, drone-style passages reminiscent of old masters Saint Vitus and Electric Wizard to spaced out Post-Metal introspection whilst rounding off the experience with a weighty nod to Rock of old- quite often within the space of one song. All the while, the hauntingly soulful quality of the vocals offers the narrative of an altered state carried throughout the album; accentuating both the Experimental nature of the band but also the influence of pioneers of the past (a comparison is often made between singer Laz’s vocals and those of a Black Sabbath-era Ozzy Osbourne). Any truly inclusive comparison of the vocals is hard to pin down, however, as it is clear that the vocal style has been refined over their previous efforts to form the enigmatic presence on Eye Tree Pi.  In fact, enigmatic is a particularly apt description of the entire band.

The convergence of so many European cultural backgrounds within one band (Polish, Hungarian, Italian and English, all somehow converging on the London and Reading area) I feel illustrates what a unique entity this band really is, and can be seen as running in parallel to the eclectic mixture of influences the band quotes. This blend has, without a doubt, matured to its most complete and coherent form yet displayed by the band within this album. From the darkly eerie introduction of the first track ‘Poison Thy Honey’, a certain ambient quality is set in place- soon giving way to a burst of energy, before progressing toward a thickly gloomy jam. The instrumentation remains understated yet undeniably tight, creating and maintaining many different textures and moods throughout the album. It is is in this attention to mood and spaciousness within the music that gives Eye Tree Pi such a haunting quality. The Progressive ability to build on a clean sound cultivated over a period of time, personified with ritualistic vocals before unleashing a headbanging flurry of Doom riffs and percussive veins of intensity, then arriving at a cosmic conclusion, pinned down by an undercurrent of ambient bassline is shown in album track ‘Serpents Rites’. There are even moments of near jubilance in mood, slowly built up from the minimalistic drone and chant- style intro to a faster tempo and a riff so catchy that you cannot help but move to, before slowing it down again for a dirty-sounding heavy finish as in ‘Nomad Nomind’. The band’s Post-Metal nuances are most apparent in ‘Passive Attack’, adorned with non-lexical, guttural experimentation of vocals and submerged sounding avant-garde minimalism in the musical accompaniment. Once again: mood takes presidence.

Once I had bought the album, my initial disappointment was that I didn’t buy it sooner. For any Doom Metal/Stoner Metal fans, this album cannot be recommended highly enough. Outside of that genre, many songs of this album could take pride of place on the playlist of any avant-garde Metal fan. A cerebral and rewarding musical experience, Eye Tree Pi rewards the most those who like to immerse themselves in what they listen to. If that sounds like you, then you could be in for a very involving 56 minutes.

- Mark Neighbour

January 26th, 2010


Obiat's third album with the strange title "Eye Tree Pi" is another eclectic release from a band that has been hard to put a tag on. Even more strange is this album has been put out by Small Stone Records which makes it one of the most unique releases on the label, its so much different compared with other bands from the Small Stone stable. Also the band is unique in the fact they have band members from Poland, Italy and Hungry but are based in London, England. The band has a sound all of their own because while they are primarily in the Doom genre, they also have a post-metal sound that at times sound like System Of A Down. A strange mix but one that seems to work most of the time. The band has a lot of ambiance that reaches into the Yob scheme of things while they also throw in N.W.O.B.H.M, Folk Rock, Progressive Rock and Stoner Rock riffing. The atmosphere they create stems from their ability to do a lot of loud/quiet parts and the first three tracks on the album are the best examples of that. "Poison Thy Honey", "Delights" and "Serpents Rights" are all great tracks and are some of the best tracks on offer here, after that I have mixed feelings about the album. The faults I hear lay in the mixing of genres which at times sound a little confused, they sound best when they are laying down a crunching doom riff but too often they head in other directions which leave me a bit cold. Vocalist Laz Pallagi keeps a clean tone throughout most of the album which gives them a unique edge compared with other singers out there that are either screaming or growling. "NoMad NoMind" shows the band at their best with a head-crushing Doom riff, this track alone is enough to warrant checking out this album. I would rate this album about the same as their other output but I also think this will be the most successful album so far from Obiat. Its a album that gives the listener a bit of everything to check out and they have a style that is pure Obiat and nothing else. One of the most original bands on the scene at the moment but where they fit in within the Stoner/Doom underground remains to be seen. I know one thing, these songs seem to be tailor made for live shows and I can imagine it must be a real sonic experience seeing them playing live. I listened to this CD some 20 times before attempting to review it, it is one of those albums that takes some time to soak in and the blending of genres is a acquired taste. Once you get whats going on however, it becomes a minor favorite.

- Ed

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

November 9th, 2009

Lords Of Metal

It is nothing new, but it still is strange: a cd that has three pictograms for title. What does it mean and even more, how to pronounce it? Even that is not obvious, because the band responsible for ‘Eye Tree Pi’ (that is the most likely interpretation of the title) consists of an Hungarian singer, a polish guitarplayer, an Italian bassplayer and a British drummer. Obiat has made a varied and difficult to place cd with seven long tracks that could have been split into two or more separate songs without much difficulty.

The main purpose of reviews is to give the reader an impression of the music: what does it sound like, is it similar to other music… that is what the reader wants to know. But for ‘Eye Tree Pi’ it is hard to find such clear answers. The record was recorded in Dave Anderson’s studio (he used to play in Hawkwind for a short period) and produced by Chris Fielding (who did similar work for Primordial and Napalm Death ). This shows the musical split: on one side we have heavy riff driven doom metal, while on the other side there is psychedelia, bits of progrock, quiet passages and even some postrock from the Isis and Pelicans tradition. And when they push things to the limit, a comparison with System of a Down is not far. A song like ‘Passive Attack’ however, sounds like a soundscape that should fit in well on the soundtrack of films such as ‘Blair Witch Project’.

It must be clear, Obiat is hard to pin down, something like to do so much. Perhaps the almost namesakes Opeth are the closest in sound and approach. But only an Opeth pretending to be Mastodon after eating a truckload of dubious mushrooms. Just like the pretentious Swedes, Obiat love to play with dynamics, have hard and soft passages following each other in a song and just like Opeth they know their classics. Take ‘Serpents’ Rites’: a carefully built song that starts very carefully, until after three minutes of acoustic play the drums start to rumble, the guitars go the maximum volume and singer Laszlo Pallagi starts to yell as if he was the Young Ozzy. In other tracks the influence of Black Sabbath can be heard as well, without it becoming a shameless rip-off though.

‘Eye Tree Pi’ is a very special album that deserves to be heard. The rather uninspiring end of the record formed by the plodding ‘House of the Forgotten Sins’ does not change that.

Rating: 90/100

- Jan-Simon

December, 2009

Daredevil Records (Germany)

The third long-player from OBIAT (UK) is a masterpiece. That is the first statement I have to give about that record. EYE TREE PI is a mix of Space Rock, Doom Metal, Sludge Rock and Psychedelic Rock, named Baroness, ISIS, Black Sabbath, Alchemist, YOB and Mastodon. The music is an impressive mix of hypnotic Metal and atmospheric Rock. Heavy guitar-riffs combine with tribal elements and trace-like atmospheres. Silent parts with great guitar work mixing together with heavy guitar riffs and dominate drumming. And over all thrones the mighty emotional vocals from Laz. After the creepy intro of POISON THY HONEY the old Sabbath like doom riffs and ritual like vocals come over you! You will be impressed from that moment till the last track HOUSE OF THE FORGOTTEN SINS. There is really no filler on that record, but after the opener I will tell you about DELIGHTS and NOMAD NOMIND with awesome guitar riffs, the immense power and again that mighty vocal. This is the right music for astronauts. This masterpiece got recorded and mixed with Chris Fielding (Primordial, Napalm Death, Taint). Check this band out on stage if you get the chance! Their impressive live shows will make you happy! Good work!

- Jochen

November, 2009

Broken Beard

Obiat comes at you from England by way of Poland and is at once Mastodonian, Katatonian, and Wagnerian (as in Eric, as in Trouble) in all it does, and yet stand well on their own out on the furthest branches of the tallest tree on the highest mountain in your mind. Where Candlemass built shrines, Obiat builds satellites; both speak the same ancient language, but exist in a different space and time. Eye Tree Pi, the band’s third album, is some serious psychedelic doom, a heavy mathematical formula where cosmic dynamite fury plus mystic pagan heresy equals wicked acid flashbacks of aliens building Stonehenge under stormy red skies. So put on your silver jumpsuit, spaceman, and take shelter in the forest of all time.

- Jeff

November 5th, 2009

The Big Takeover

Consisting of Hungarian, Polish and Italian natives living in London, OBIAT takes a non-regional approach to metal on Eye Tree Pi, freely and convincingly mixing NWOBHM epic melody, U.K. progressive rock sweep, European folk metal cadences and American stoner metal riffola into a flowing river of atmospheric crunch. Songs like “NoMan NoMind,” “Poison Thy Honey” and the massive epic “Serpent’s Rites” move from gentle breezes to raging storms and back, always with the same organic swirl as the wind itself – nothing here sounds like spare parts stitched together by a mad scientist. Frontperson LAZ soars above it all, crooning one minute, howling the next, riding the shifting dynamics like Thor would a lightning bolt. Eye Tree Pi is an impressive, creative alternative to the alternatives in underground hard rock.

- Michael Toland

October 30th, 2009

The Ripple Effect

Small Stone’s core audience will love Obiat’s new one called Eye Tree Pi. I flipped over Dozer’s Beyond Colossal album recently and this sounds like the younger brother version of that. There’s less 70’s metal like Alice Cooper and more of a modern metal approach, like if System Of A Down wasn’t so annoying.

This is the 3rd album for these Polish and Hungarian natives living in London. There sound has a very European influence. There’s lots of almost folky lines in their riffs and the vocals are in English but have a strong accent making it sound a bit more exotic.

Most of the songs are on the long side with a mix of metal and prog influences. At 12 minutes “Serpents’ Rites” is their “Stairway To Heaven” starting of slow and acoustic, then getting heavy and eventually ending up with an epic guitar solo. Even the shorter songs start off in one place and leave you in another. “NoMad NoMind” has an almost King Crimson Lark’s Tongue feel before getting slower and then almost turning into The Police.

Fans of all types of heavy stuff will dig this. The guitars are heavy but not tuned super low so that the strings flop around. The rhythms are heavy and slightly unpredictable but never journey too far into navel gazing prog overload. The production is also very impressive. The songs have lots of guitars layering and there are some nice atmospherics mixed in to keep things interesting.

-- Woody

October 15th, 2009

The Dreaded Press

Yeah, so you noticed; Small Stone Records sent me a whole bunch of albums over in one batch, and I’m kinda hacking on through ‘em as best I can – they’ve got a pretty impressive rate of output for a niche-genre independent label, y’know (not to mention bargain prices – $13 for a CD is pretty decent, so don’t be shy about buying). Next on the block is Eye Tree Pi by Obiat, a globe-trotting doomy metal outfit consisting of two Poles, a Hungarian and a Brit, and they make a noise without precedent, at least in my experience – my best stab at taxonomy would be to place them somewhere in between classic doom metal and dark ambient. There’s some elements of psychedelia in there too, but it’s not the cheery fairground sixties stuff – this is the strychnine horror-show seventies psyche, the black-light posters and bad drugs business. Not for the faint-hearted, in other words.

From the creepy intro of “Poison Thy Honey” – with its initially-gentle cymbal work, haunting guitar bits and Zen monk drone vocals – and onwards, Obiat are Sabbathy to the max, with slow scraping riffs and wailing ritual-in-the-forest lyrics that veer quite close to sounding like Ozzy from time to time… well, like Ozzy when he could still sing, that is. Listen to “Delights” or “NoMad NoMind”and tell me you can’t hear the ghost of the old bat-eater coming through, pushed to the reverberant rear end of the soundfield by a wall of roaring guitar.

There are hints of the spacious post-metal style of outfits like Isis, as well; “Serpent’s Rites” is all echoing clean lead-lines at the start, a gradual tension building up until the drums begin to roll like thunder on the horizon and the deep guitars come marching forth like prehistoric giants to lay waste to civilisation as we know it. Then there’s a lull, an eye of the storm punctuated by more vocal groans and string-scraping sounds that finally gives way to a glacial trudge across a desolate landscape of gloom and despair. And just to clarify: that’s a positive thing.

Musically, Obiat are almost crude – there’s little in the way of fancy soloing or clever time signatures on Eye Tree Pi, though the drumming is admirably precise without being mechanical – but they’ve got a knack for apocalyptic atmospherics, with their stately pace and careful dynamic choices lending a cinematic vibe to the proceedings. The dark tones of the guitar and bass are super, very much fit for purpose, but I’m not so keen on the percussion, which boasts a thin and boxy snare sound and short cymbals – I’d have liked a little more cut-through from the upper section of the drumkit, personally, though that submerged sound may be exactly what Obiat were after, reproducing as it does the effects of a few too many beers on top of a gut-full of small pointy-capped mushrooms. Er, so I’ve been told. Ahem. Yes.

But let’s not quibble too much – after all, when you find yourself having to complain about the sound of individual elements of the kit, it’s usually because there’s nothing more obvious to moan about. Eye Tree Pi is an interesting album, forming as it does a kind of bridge between the epic sludge of post-metal and the soundtrack work of artists like Lustmord (the latter exemplified here by the windswept melancholia of “Passive Attack”), and it’ll make an ideal soundtrack to your next solitary evening at home with the water-pipe. But I suspect that Obiat are at their best playing live, and I’ll be watching the gig listings closely for my chance to find out.

- The Editor

October 8th, 2009


What do you get when two Poles, one Hungarian, and one Englishman walk into a recording studio? Well, if that studio happened to be located in the Welsh countryside, during the summer of 2008, then the answer is Eye Tree Pi -- the third, head-spinning long player from the cryptically named Obiat. But it's not necessarily Obiat's diverse, pan-European lineage that dictates their music, so much as a Western-centric but nevertheless eclectic range of music styles, spanning four decades and then some. Recent parallels can be found in the alien prog-metal of Australia's Alchemist and the space-sludge of Italians UFOMammut (in other words, Obiat get heavy!), but the inspirational background of Obiat's lengthy sonic excursions dates back as far as a distant past where Hawkwind, Van Der Graaf Generator and Black Sabbath all walked the Earth, but had little else in common beyond, perhaps, tax exile. And so, "Poison Thy Honey" gets us under way like an exotic space port bazaar, just before it is impacted by a molten metal asteroid; "Delights" withstands the tooth-rattling shuddering of takeoff before achieving interstellar overdrive; and "Serpent's Rites" floats gently across the inky ether on its way to untold galaxies of terror. Getting there can be a little boring, though, what with all those light years to hibernate across, and so neither the nightmarish riffing visions of "NoMad NoMind," nor the blissful doze of "Passive Attack" are likely to be remembered as clearly once the traveler awakes. By comparison, once it livens up with a belly-dancing mid-section, the intentionally mechanical glaze of "AA54089" suggests an existential super-computer breakdown straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey (the only thing missing is a sample of its voice saying, "What are you doing, Dave?"). After all this, the persistent calm of "House of the Forgotten Sins" seems a tad too gentle a conclusion for Eye Tree Pi -- I mean, where's the final, molecule-crunching dive into the heart of the black hole, just to see what's on the other side? The truth, as they say, is out there, and perhaps Obiat have intentionally left that question unanswered until the next part of their voyage. We shall see, but until then, Eye Tree Pi will surely stand as one of 2009's most intriguing and unpredictable heavy music releases.

- Eduardo Rivadavia

October 9th, 2009

The Obelisk

Although members hail from areas such as Poland and Hungary, new Small Stone Records signing Obiat base themselves in London where they’ve lived and operated for nearly a decade. With two prior independent records under their belt - 2002’s Accidentally Making Enemies and 2005’s Emotionally Driven Disturbance - the four-piece joins the Small Stone roster heralding the quizzically-titled Eye Tree Pi, which proves to be as deep a foray into post-metal as their new label has yet to make. Fortunately, drummer Neil (no last name given) restrains himself from that insistent and oh-so-telling Isis snare pattern that seems to infect every other record in this genre. For that alone, Obiat were worth signing.

Obiat seem to have sold their souls at the crossroads between YOB, System of a Down and more basic, guitar-driven post-metal. There’s ambience a-plenty, but like in the extended trio of opening tracks, “Poison Thy Honey,” “Delights” and “Serpents’ Rights,” most of the atmosphere comes in the form of changing volumes and quiet parts from six-stringer Rafa Reutt and bassist Alex - “Passive Attack” aside. Vocalist Laz Pallagi follows the songs wherever they lead him, and keeps a clean tone almost entirely throughout, carving another niche for the band since so many of their ilk are fronted by either their guitarists or other screamers. He goes as far in “AA54089” as to throw in some latter-day Hansi Kürsch sans layering-style acrobatics among his other shouts and wails.

Because of the band’s elemental approach, parts of Eye Tree Pi feel telegraphed, and though Pallagi’s vocals sometimes bring the songs an Eastern European flair (which to my ignorant American ears accounts for the System of a Down comparison above), the semi-spoken word/ambient closer “House of the Forgotten Sins” still feels anti-climactic after the crunching heaviness that came before it. There is plenty of Eye Tree Pi, however, that blends elements and influences so as to belong entirely to Obiat, and those moments, such as the crashing doom groove and headbang-inducing bridge riff of middle cut “NoMad NoMind,” are precisely what make the album worth checking out.

As what will doubtless be their biggest record yet, Obiat’s third offering is a respectable showing from an act whose loudness must rattle cartilage live. It’s a change of pace from the usual Small Stone fare, but if these newcomers wind up sticking out from the pack in this tiny scene we all cherish so much, it can only serve them well in both the long and short runs.

-  H.P. Taskmaster


August 4th, 2009

Album Tracks

  1. Poison Thy Honey
  2. Delights
  3. Serpents' Rites
  4. NoMad NoMind
  5. Passive Attack
  6. AA54089
  7. House of the Forgotten Sins

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