The Obsessed


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The Obsessed are the most unfortunately unappreciated band in hard rock history. Incarnate, a collection of various sessions spanning years and lineups, serves as testament to the band's great essential constants. The trademarks in question are tough but easy-going stoner grooves, Wino's detuned death machine of a guitar, and an absolute heaviness that permeates their work like a weird mixture of sweat and incense. The band, in whatever embodiment, create this heaviness by always working as a unit. Hard rock excesses are avoided; every drum fill and every note of every solo works toward the song rather than individual glory. Make no mistake though, Wino's solos, while tactful, are still heroic -- he offers unique schizo-bluesy runs throughout Incarnate, of particular depth and feeling on the "Streetside/Mourning" sessions from spring '93. Any lyrics that come through the mix hold interest as well, an intelligent individualist stance firmly taken. A very telling Obsessed moment occurs when Wino howls "It makes my blood run cold to be bought and sold" on "Concrete Cancer," over a re-working of the riff from "Iron Man." Eric Burdon and Lynyrd Skynyrd covers are thrown in for good measure, with Melvins drummer Dale Crover beating skins on the latter. Scott Reeder, who went on to join Kyuss, plays bass on a session as well. The Obsessed have never received the recognition accorded those two groups but any fans of Lysol or Welcome to Sky Valley are advised to pick up Incarnate as a further lesson in drop ‘D.'

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