Consisting of vocalist/violinist Lulu Black and drummer Michael Kadnar, THIS IS OBLIVION summon a dark, evocative sound, in league with the most dramatic dirges of Chelsea Wolfe or Swans. The pair will release the self-titled debut album on May 6, 2022 via Kadnar’s label, Silent Pendulum Records.
Frst single “The Truth” mesmerizes as it punishes; haunting vocals coil around funereal strings and cannon-fire drums. The accompanying music video, directed by Brendan McGowan and starring Black and Kadnar, is a suitably beautiful, intense, and theatrical clip, presenting a purple-lit dream sequence of chains, thorns, and fire.
Black describes the concepts behind This Is Oblivion‘s debut album: “It’s an exploration of the cyclical nature of connection; how every moment in time is paradoxically suspended somewhere between a moment of collapse and ascendance; how love can be an anchor when the world seems to be ending and love itself can feel like the end of the world.” This paradox is expressed in “The Truth” as Black sings, “I will ruin you / I will run to you / I want you to ruin me / I want you to run from me.”
A classical music major in college, Black’s interest in other genres – industrial, darkwave, doom, and more – led her to start creating her own music. “My biggest influence has always been Nine Inch Nails, especially Trent and Atticus’ cinematic scores,” she states. “I love gritty textures paired with gorgeous harmonies.”
Kadnar is known to many as the rhythm machine behind bands such as Downfall of Gaia,The Number Twelve Looks Like You and So Hideous. Known predominantly as a metal drummer, Kadnar separates himself from the pack by bringing outside influences into his playing, from jazz, funk, world music, and beyond; in This Is Oblivion, he utilizes a whole palette of percussion and his approach ranges from the delicate to the colossally heavy.
Black and Kadnar began This Is Oblivion in the spring of 2020. The two are not only in a band together, but in a relationship. “Collaborating with a romantic partner is a first for both of us,” says Black. “A relationship that then evolves into an artistic collaboration can be hugely positive but also very raw and vulnerable at times.” The couple’s debut album was recorded and mixed in 2021 by Seth Manchester at Machines With Magnets (Lingua Ignota, The Body) and mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering (Depeche Mode, David Lynch). The cover art was created by Rose Callahan and Taylor Bates.
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2) The Truth
6) A Reckoning
7) Unto You
Lulu Black – vocals, violin, viola
Michael Kadnar – drums, piano, backing vocals
Jennifer DeVore – cello on “Elegy” and “Litany”
Marco Mazzola – electronic drum samples on “A Reckoning”