The Obsessed - Live Music Hall Köln December 29th 1992 12 Inch
Koln is the first new record from The Obsessed in years, a vinyl-only live document of a 1992 show captured in Germany while the legendary Maryland doom metal band was on tour in Europe following the release of Lunar Womb; we're talking about The Church Within lineup of The Obsessed featuring Wino (St. Vitus / Hidden Hand / Spirit Caravan / Shrinebuilder), Greg Rogers (Goatsnake) and Guy Pinhas (Goatsnake / Porn / Acid King / Fireball Ministry), which many consider to be the band at their all-time best; this Lp certainly captures the band playing at the peak of their powers. With a ten-song set list that spans all three of their albums from the early 90s, the band's performance is flawless, and sounds like the seasoned underground metal vets that they were, confidently bringing their unique amalgamation of muscular hard rock, anthemic songwriting, crushing Sabbathian doom, and hardcore punk aggression across this powerful live set. The album features stomping live versions of "Mourning", "Hiding Mask", and "The Way She Fly", an arena-ready performance of their almost pop-like hookfeast "Forever Midnight", and a killer version of their fist-pounding Motorhead-esque ripper "Streamlined". The b-side has even heavier Obsessed songs like "Brother Blue Steel" and "Blind Lightning", along with the surreal, funkified doom of "Neatz Brigade" and the slow-burning groove of "River Of Soul" being situated next to their more Sabbathian blasts of dour heaviness. Wino's voice sounds fucking amazing on this album, and the whole recording is excellent, loud and punchy and clear with every instrument sitting perfectly in the live mix; this is definitely one of the best live albums I've ever heard for a classic doom band of this stature. Presented in a jacket and inner sleeve designed by Mories from Gnaw Their Tongues, the Live Lp is something you'll definitely want to pick up if you're a hardcore Obsessed fan like me, a high quality document of the most influential band to come out of the Maryland doom underground.