Roel de Haan : Obsidian Kingdom represents my personal surprise of this month with their latest album 'Mantiis' It has been ages since I was this impressed by a self-released album. These Spaniards play progressive and experimental post-black metal in which they succeed to successfully blend progressive metal, black metal and jazz-elements into an emotionally engaging and coherent sounding album. Sometimes reminding of Moonspell's 'The Antidote', Pain Of Salvation, A Forest Of Stars and even Solefald. However, despite all these different styles, alternating clean and screaming vocals and the incorporation of the occasional brass instrument, nothing seems contrived or forced. Juggling black metal genre conventions like Between The Buried And Me does in their respective field; Obsidian Kingdom needs an open mind to be appreciated. 'Mantiis' is a superb album that, although unconventional in its nature, is capable of appealing to a wide audience. Haul over to their site and get this immediately. It's downloadable for free!