Old as Obsydian

Keep your ears on this young metal band, some of whom still need chaperones at the bars.

Obsydian is shredding their way to the top of the local metal scene, even though half the band is too young get into their own gigs.

Their brand of smart, fast, loud metal is blowing the pants off their friends and mentors. Metal scene stalwards like Thy Flesh Consumed and Hellacaust regularly ask them onto their bills, and they've been offered TV time on an upcoming satellite TV show hosted by music website theliveline.com.

"They can play circles around all the older bands," says Hellacaust's Graham Ferguson. "These guys can shred on guitars, the drummer's insane, and they're letting the music do the talking, too."

Lead singer and guitar Marc Mackenzie and drummer Justin Marshall (both now 20) started the band in 2006, long before they'd seen their first show. After a series of non-starter bandmates, they teamed up with bassist Ian Seurattan and Mitch Dragatis on guitar. Obsydian recently released The Grotesque Presage at the Seahorse, and Sunday night, they headline their first big show at Joker's.

But Dragatis and Seurattan are so young (18), they need to be chaperoned for bar shows. "We get 'You guys have two 18-year-olds in your band, and the oldest is 20?' We do get that," says Mackenzie. "But if people get a kick out of it, that's cool."

Their influences are a grocery list of metal staples, including Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer---"the bands that really made songwriting a huge part of metal." They also like harder stuff like Dark Funeral, Cannibal Corpse and Akercocke, and mainstream material like Nevermore. But they're not out to be clones of one of these mainstream bands.

"We don't want to sound like anyone. We want to sound like us, and I think it's portrayed pretty well by what we did on the album," says Mackenzie.

Mackenzie, who pens most of the lyrics, doesn't need much to find his dark place. "There's enough stuff going on in our world right now that's a lot scarier than any evil lyrics that you can make up," he says. "It makes great fodder for a metal song, but it's something to think about, too."

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