Reviewed: Labyrinthine – Ancient Obscurity


Upon opening the blackened timber door I am greeted by what appears to be the hollowed remnants of what once was a foyer. Soured air brushes past me. Beyond this dimmed antechamber gleams a hall of sorts. The orb of tarnished light winks at me through the reflections filtering out the opening. As I proceed through this portal, the bell shaped room echoes back at me my every step. While not cavernous, the hall gives the impression of what was once an internal courtyard. The composition is pristine in structure but the stone walls are adorned in the evidence of years of deliberate neglect. I hear the faint noises resonating within the structure. They steadily accumulate and eventually surround me.

Ahead I see a series of tunnel-like apertures. This is clearly where the sounds are emanating from as they continue to upwell. Each doorway offers a sound distinct from the others. The funereal repeating patterns from one tunnel are seemingly adorned with haunting melodies from another. A percussive dirge is being dragged along by shifting bass tones. Although not a wall of sound, each instrument wanders its own path, aligning in a spectral orchestra. The bass looms as the conductor of the piece, luring me deeper. Rather than cross the center of the circular expanse, I decide to skirt the outer edge toward.

As I cross the threshold, the thick blast of the closing door butting up to the jamb is cut through by the sinister rasp of a voice thus far unheard. The ghastly sneers pierce my consciousness and seemingly beckon me with a crooked finger. I am at their behest. Their refusal to intertwine with the instrumental façade ahead brings disquiet within. Calculated menace abounds. As I reach the other side of the hall I notice inscriptions in the blotched marble above each tunnel.

It is then a sombre, somewhat hypnotic pattern begins to relieve my prior tension. During this, a moment of relative comfort within the doom is reached. Foolishly I had ignored the undercurrent portending the oncoming frenzy. The lull is rapidly severed by the hastening of the drumming. The other tunnels have followed suit in this frantic gathering of spite. The engraving reads ‘Ichorous Portal’.

Following this turmoil a moment of instrumental congruence is reached. Lengthened notes within the circular rhythms are interspersed with crescendos of illusory clawing. I feel their breathless reaching. Pushing back towards the outer wall, a blanket of grey cloud settles on my mind, beyond which the boundless plane lies. I find momentary warmth in this phantom cloak. Blurred vision sees the roof above form a cryptic nebula, spiralling in and out of focus. I turn to face the point of entry and begin to slowly walk towards, only to find it now mirrors the tunnelled wall behind me. I remain at the mid-point of this symmetry, replete with the divine revelation. I am home now.

Labyrinthine - Ancient Obscurity - Labyrinthine- Ancient Obscurity Logo

TL, DR: ‘Dis album rill gud, is free but pay anyway. Labyrinthine – Ancient Obscurity



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  • KJM

    You are eaten by a Grue.

  • Tyree

    Yes, album rules. This dude should have gotten the crown for best unsigned band in PA. That’s just my worthless opinion though. Die.

    Glad to see James is getting a some recognition here. Well deserved.

  • The W.

    Great review, Reptile. Jamming now.

    • Óðinn

      I would like to second W’s approval of this review. Well done Lacertilian.

      • Lacertilian

        Thanks guys. Means a lot especially coming from the doctor of non-traditional reviews @disqus_kqxyUNPxty:disqus

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt O)))

    The write-up nails the atmosphere of the music. Kinda on the fence about the Gollum vocals though.

  • Dude…

    Awesome review but…


  • Tyree

    James, just put out a new demo for his other project Skullreader. Check it.

    Edit: It’s a bit more dissonant and chaotic than Labyrinthine.

  • Scrimm

    Good stuff.

  • Sir Tapir the Based™

    Le Tapir digs this.

  • KJM

    Just Announced: Weedeater’s coming back to Boston(Cambridge actually) in August!! WOO HOO!!

    • Tyree

      They never disappoint live. I try and catch them as often as I can. Really fun shows.

      • KJM

        And this club is even closer to my place. Bonus.

        • Tyree
          • KJM

            They will return to Saint Vitus August 11th.

          • Tyree

            I’ve never seen a show there. I’d love to some day check it out. It’s just very inconvenient for me.

          • KJM

            Same here, too far and most bands that play there end up in Boston anyway.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    waking up and feeling good—this labyrinth feeds the soul—

  • RJA

    On Topic: this is pretty good. I love when bands have a name your price option as it allows me to give them a few bucks – when something is as much as 10 dollars for a digital copy I usually pass.

    Off Topic: I ordered the Esoterica album on vinyl and got to talking to one of the guys behind it who is also in the skaphe project (which I was unaware of) and here was his response to me:

    “Awesome! Yes, Skaphe is also something I do and thank you. There’s a new Skaphe album that is almost finished and it will be released on vinyl this time around. I think the first one is getting reissued on vinyl at some point.”

    • Tyree

      You are talking about this Skaphe right? If so, fucking ay! I’m looking forward to the new album. Their S/T was incredible.

      • RJA

        Yes, that one. He included a copy of the cassette with the Esoterica LP so I was a little thrown off and asked him about it. Always bothered me the first one wasn’t issued on vinyl.

        • Tyree

          Same, I would have picked it up in a heartbeat. I’ll be curious to see how the new album sounds. I thought their S/T was near perfect. Production and everything, it was like a acid trip in the devils playground. Total mind fuckery.

          • RJA

            It’s one of the few things in the last couple years that took me probably 3 listens to decide if I even liked it or not. Which is a rare feat nowadays.

          • Tyree

            There are parts in that demo that seriously make the hair on my arms and neck stand up. Some eerie stuff happening. The atmosphere is beyond bone chilling.

          • RJA

            I believe I first listened to it on your recommendation so thank you for that.

          • Tyree

            Awesome! Glad some one liked it. Thanks for the update on the new album. Good news!

  • Great read. I can’t wait to listen to this album. I’ll be classy as fuck drinking from my goblet that I purchased specifically to look like a douche bag when my friends are around.

    • You drink Mountain Dew out of that thing? If so, there are none more kvlt.

    • Lacertilian

      I’ve had it on repeat for a couple of weeks now and I keep finding more to enjoy.
      One of those times when something grabs your interest immediately and then keeps on giving.