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The Obsessed “Gilded Sorrow” Album Review By Josh Phillips

The Obsessed 2023 color v2 Credit Jessy Lotti scaled

2020 – a year of Doom – in more ways than one. That Autumn I discovered the Doom Metal classics and obsessed over them for months. Now, I’d been a Metalhead since I was a teenager in 2003, but I, like so many, gravitated straight to Extreme Metal. I had a one-dimensional and largely incorrect view of Doom Metal as unbearably slow, monotonous music. I bypassed the subgenre for years as I believe many others have. True Doom thus, in a sense, forms an underground in the underground and, in a bizarre twist, is less popular than Death Metal or Black Metal despite being ostensibly more accessible. When I actually gave the classic Trad and Epic Doom bands a shot, my world changed, and my vistas expanded into a world of Sabbath-drenched glory – a celebration of the earliest Metal sound. This often midtempo music with catchy riffs was nothing like the funeral dirge I expected all Doom to sound like. Bands such as Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram, Count Raven, Iron Man, Candlemass, Solitude Aeternus, and, of course, The Obsessed revolutionized my Metal world.

Scott “Wino” Weinrich has been at the forefront of this scene since the early days whether as the leader of The Obsessed or the frontman of Saint Vitus. Wino spent the late 80s cranking out classics with the latter before releasing a trio of albums by The Obsessed in the early 90s (with the debut having been recorded even earlier). In the late 90s and early 2000s he contributed to albums by Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Place of Skulls, and others. But another record  by The Obsessed did not appear until 2017’s Sacred (a gap of over two decades). The return of The Obsessed to the Doom Metal scene was a tremendous blessing. Sacred brought a new level of consistency to the band’s discography and was the project’s heaviest record. Intensive touring and a follow-up record in Gilded Sorrow proves The Obsessed are back at the top and here to stay.

Gilded Sorrow, for me, is not an immediate album. It takes repeated listen to unveil it’s variety and atmosphere. The album explores a variety of tempos from the quicker It’s Not OK to the laid-back title track. The appropriately Stoner-esque Stoned Back to the Bomb Age brings immense weight to the album with it’s heavy main riff. The record’s diversity leads to some additional processing, but it transitions well and there are unifying themes. One of these is Wino’s unique riffing style. From the opening moments of lead track Daughter of An Echo you know this is a Wino production. The familiarity of the record is further enhanced by the inclusion of Yen Sleep, an Obsessed classic getting it’s chance to appear on a full album. Another unifying thread is that it has the feel of the open road. The album captures the atmosphere of the open spaces of America, sun shining down, the wind in your hair. Wino has evolved into an iconic American storyteller and I get the feeling that his singer-songwriter work in his solo project has left a positive impact here with The Obsessed.

The lyrics on Gilded Sorrow reflect a nice blend of personal, introspective thought with social and political commentary. Wino has maintained the image and lifestyle of the rock and roll rebel. This led to backlash when he called out the fearmongering and “medical politics” of politicians and media during the pandemic. Many online lost their minds and rabidly insulted Wino who pointed out the great irony of such conformity in the Metal genre. Some of the lyrics seem to deliver a middle finger to those individuals – particularly the lines “You loud mouth keyboard warrior typing all your hate afraid to look me in the eye” from It’s Not OK. Other lyrics concern topics such as life, relationships, and betrayal.

Gilded Sorrow is a worthy entry in the discography of The Obsessed which contributes to the legendary status of the band and its main man. Strong across the board with an interesting variety of songs, both musically and lyrically, Gilded Sorrow offers a Trad Doom album of the year contender. Keep Doom Alive!

Josh’s rating: 9/10

Get the album here: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/gilded-sorrow

The Obsessed Gilded Sorrow cover art

THE OBSESSED is:
Scott “Wino” Weinrich – lead guitar, lead vocals 
Brian Costantino – drums, backing vocals 
Chris Angleberger – bass 
Jason Taylor – rhythm guitar 

THE OBSESSED links: Facebook – Bandcamp – Instagram – Spotify
RIPPLE MUSIC links: Website – Facebook – Bandcamp – Instagram

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