OBSCURA – Omnivium
The calmest, more serene point of the album takes place in the first 45 seconds of “Septuagint” with slow, double acoustic guitars gently building the song up before the German technical/progressive death metal four piece and their skill set pins your interest over 9 songs and the next 54 minutes. With a name like Obscura, the listener can’t be surprised that inspiration flows from Gorguts – and their third album “Omnivium” comes out at a time where tech death metal has seen a rebirth of sorts, thanks to reformations from Atheist and Cynic as well as newer bands pushing the parameters of the genre.
Not everything on “Omnivium” is a maze of hyper speed riff-o-rama : take in the atmospheric moody touches during “Ocean Gateways” where the guitar solos even have that ethereal new age jazzy motif. When they do go for the kinetic blasts and stair step riffs, it’s almost as if you are climbing a huge mountain in the arrangement and then taking a scattered cliff dive only to rise again – “Euclidean Elements” a perfect example with the guitars and bass taking those off time chop parts against Hannes Grossmann’s snare/ double bass cavalcade. “Prismal Dawn” gives bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling a brief spotlight around the 5:05-5:13 mark where the guitars and drumming have to follow his lines and it just gives the song such a bottom end burst you rarely hear from progressive death bands.
The song that thrills me the most is “Velocity” – the opening once again very atmospheric and over the course of the 6:03 arrangement you’ll get death vocals intersecting whispering/ speaking parts, plus guitar riffs and solos that are definitely from some sort of space age fantasy, the guitar solo a schooled musician’s fantasy to chart and attempt to deliver note for note (especially the high end stream that sounds like a thunderstorm raining out of his amplifier). And I didn’t mind the nod to Jeff Waters in “A Transcendental Serenade” (guitarists will know instantly which riff comes from the Annihilator back catalog on this one).
Now that the band have been spreading their wings with 160 shows under their belt across the globe, Obscura are prime and ready to take this music to larger audiences in headlining capacity. I believe if there is an act out of the current scene that could attain veteran status and have a generation following their every move, Obscura would be the one act to follow.