Obscene Entity_LamentiaCompetition arises in the strangest places, and one of them is at the buffet. In eternal struggle of trying to cost the restaurant more than the ludicrous bill you’ll receive, there are three main strategies you can employ. First, eat a reasonable amount of the most expensive stuff. Second, sample a pinch of a large variety of foodstuffs and hope the numbers work out. Third is the dining equivalent of scorched earth policy, characterized by indiscriminate gluttony and staunch looks of disapproval from the wait staff and eventually your family or friends with whom you came. This method ensures a win, but at what cost? We’re about to find out metaphorically, because British death metallers Obscene Entity made a huge playlist of death metal their buffet, picked option three, and now we have Lamentia.

In case it wasn’t clear, they stacked their plate pretty high. Lamentia sounds closest to the new-school of the old-school like Blood Red Throne and their ilk, which itself already has substantially influential baggage. Obscene Entity make it even more obvious that they took decades of death into account, so expect some less technical Death, Abysmal Dawn, the requisite Ulcerate-lite stuff, Severe Torture’s characteristic busy riffing, and some blackened death elements that bring the massively underrated Tyranny Enthroned to mind. Mercifully, tech-death’s incessant noodling was neglected but Lamentia doesn’t wallow in simplicity; it’s very much a sharp blade of polished steel instead of a rusty hacksaw.

Obscene Entity fare best when they embrace their modern death metal sound and pepper it with the old as they do on the title track. It’s busy, but it builds on its theme nicely and enjoyably morphs into death metal clearly inspired by later Immortal during the midsection and follows it up effectively with some punishing riffing a la Dehumanized. Also good is “Black Blood” and its introductory Leprosy aping that leads into some solid prefix-less death metal, then an unobtrusive and fitting staccato bit, and finally a climax that makes great use of the “scream the title of the song four times” device. Entirely unrelated to Behemoth, “Shadow of Nergal” deftly walks the line between old and new, switching competently between typical but well done modern death riffing akin to Abysmal Dawn and what sounds like Undead‘s interpretation of classic Pestilence and Death riffs. Latter day Death makes a cameo in the choice solo section of “Insanity Binds” and noticeably outshines the rest of the alright song as a result, but standout material is still standout material.

If you thought the name-dropping tsunami above was a bit much, you’ll understand my main criticism about Lamentia. Obscene Entity brings together myriad elements and influence from those and even more bands that I like, but can often come across as a jack of all trades and a master of none. Also, “Disassembly of the Ego” is a waste of time, as while interludes are fine, they can and do kill a record’s momentum when they’re listless. “Euphoric Vanity” shows skill in the songwriting department by developing second-rate Severe Torture riffs into much better and less single-mindedly derivative ones, but the ratio of hit to miss throughout the song is jarring and second-rate riffs are still second-rate riffs, no matter how nicely they fit into the whole. While it may be the weirdest issue I’ve ever had with a death metal record in my tenure at AMG, I have to point it out: the verse riff of “Hymns of the Faithless” sounds like a death metal version of that terrible “Numa Numa” song, and makes it difficult for me to enjoy the song or even take it seriously.

Obscene Entity_2015

Lamentia‘s production deserves mentioning because it’s dynamic and large, allowing everyone’s performance to be heard and appreciated. Each member brings some serious chops to the table but the band avoids falling into the modern trap of gratuitous instrumental showboating, making for a refreshing exercise in relative restraint that puts the songs first. It’s a shame that these songs by and large didn’t stand out from the pack more, because Obscene Entity have something pretty interesting going on in their sound and it’s hard not to like what they’re doing. That said, if they improve their sometimes scattered songwriting and focus on honing their mostly solid riff-craft in order to compete with their many influences instead of competently emulating them, their music could be some quality death metal.

Until that hopeful development, Lamentia is a good record that promises big things for the future. Even if it ends up as primarily a stepping stone on Obscene Entity‘s journey to the upper echelons of modern death metal, Lamentia is worth hearing. It’s  a bit like Butchered at Birth: a decent record rightly overshadowed by future ones, but nice to throw on for context, variety, or just because it’s good.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Tridroid Records
Websites: obsceneentitybandcamp.com | facebook.com/obsceneentity
Releases Worldwide: November 27th, 2015

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  • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

    My god, that first paragraph is so full of win :__)

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Diabolus always has food on the mind…

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Beer is food too right?

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Indeed. Booze IS food.

          • Does whiskey count as beer?

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            Only if it is slightly chilled and neat.

          • Guillotine of Papal Crowns

            My conclusions are:
            – Diabolus and Druhm ask the right questions.
            – Grier gives the right answers.
            – A jar of beer mixed with whiskey is some kind of ÜBER-FOOD.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I like to think this is all correct.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Heard it here first, folks! And from a doctor too, no less.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I also have a 100% evaluation rate and highly recommended in my field. So you can trust my undebatable advice.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Well it did tell me exactly what I wanted to hear, so it’s clearly great advice.

  • You wot m8?

    No embedded track? :(

  • I don’t care how horrible it’s going to end up being, I MUST hear the metal “Numa Numa” song. Curiosity is about to kill the proverbial cat.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      It’s not even a bad song, but the verse becomes the most memorable part because it sticks out like a sore thumb and every time it came up on the record I’d think “dammit, the ‘Numa Numa’ verse song again.” Weird, I know, but impossible to get past…at least for me.

  • Innit Bartender

    With that cover art, I was surely expecting another Doom-Stoner-Uncle Acid album. Instead it’s death?

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      It really does look like it should be stoner stuff, right? Even the band’s logo is too dull in its lines and almost melted looking to immediately suggest anything *but* some slightly more aggressive doom.

      • Innit Bartender

        If we were still in the era of record shops, this album would come up seriously misplaced… Deathers yelling at the counter: “Hey, what is this stoner shit doing in my death corner?” or Sleep fans bringing it back to the shop saying “Man, this is seriously… ya know?”

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          And if they were so inclined they could just trade it in for something else, another fun relic of the old days, maybe talk about music with the store clerk for a bit while they were at it. That era all but dying has sent reviews and appreciation down the toilet, IMO.

          • Innit Bartender

            Coming from a small town, my experience with the local record shops has always been: go in, ask for the record I wanted to buy, have the owner reply “EH?” and wait for a couple of weeks because he had to order it. Seriously, all they had in the shop was Michael Jackson and Madonna.
            The only memory of a nice chat I had in a local record shop is when I met two metalheads searching for the 1st King Crimson album because they had heard 21st Century Schizoid Man, and I told them: are you aware the rest of the album is quite different? I’m quite happy they bought it nonetheless.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            That’s normally my experience too at my city’s main shop, save one magical time when I much younger and wandered into that record store with a couple friends, said to one of them “I wonder if they have any Slayer?” and then saw a copy of Seasons in the Abyss plopped down in front of me by a helpful staff member. Nice way to spend eight dollars.
            There’s a small store that has tons of cool stuff and is run by a metalhead, so whenever I go there we always bullshit about the latest stuff and the classics. Not a frequent trip though, because it’s a significantly more expensive than online distros. Glad those kids bought ItCotCK though, it’s a great record regardless of how useless the last ten minutes of Moonchild are!

          • Innit Bartender

            OK, I’ll stop after this (or move to the forum, is there a “Record shop memories” thread?). Before I got married, more than 10 years ago, some female colleague of mine insisted we go out with a friend of hers. It was a tentative hook-up of course. So we three end up in this big city mall, and at that time I was in the process of replacing my old Rush vinyls with the remastered CDs, so I take Grace Under Pressure from the rack, and the friend goes: YOU NOT GONNA BUY A _RUSH_ ALBUM, ARE YOU????? Well, of course I did. Naturally I never saw the friend again. But I turned my colleague on to Rush. She loved them.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            If there isn’t such a thread we should make one! As a Canadian, I’m happy you like one of many musical treasures that isn’t Bryan Adams, because he’s terrible. Rush has some incredible songs.

    • PanzerFistDominatrix

      Either way, it’s offensively ugly.

  • So you can buy the CD for £10 (and get a digital version) or buy a tape for £5 (and get a digital version) but you can’t just buy the digital version by itself? Come the fuck on.

    I want to buy this album, but I really really don’t need any more CDs for fuck’s sake.

    • jageorge72

      Buy the CD and get your MP3s, then sell CD if you don’t want it. Personally, when I spend money on music, I want something I can hold in my hands. Otherwise…. why not just play it on YouTube for free?

      I’m old school. I can’t grasp the idea of buying music, and only getting “files”. Screw that. I want something tangible for my money.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        It costs me more money but I’m the same way. Cannot justify buying solely files. Even on Bandcamp I always buy the physical releases.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Even on the Tridroid Bandcamp there’s only the CD preorder, and that is a bit weird for this day and age. I’m fine with that personally, as I’ve never spent money on just files. If I’m buying the record, I’m getting the CD or LP. The only bad part is how much space the damn things take up, but even that’s fine in a sense because it forces more discerning purchases.

  • herrschobel

    brilliant first paragraph…