Obscura - Akróasis 01“What now?” That’s the question Akróasis, unfairly or otherwise, is supposed to answer. Obscura in 2016 is solely within the hands of founder, guitarist, and vocalist Steffen Kummerer. With the core of the band as we knew it between Cosmic Genesis and Omnivium gone—and that’s an impressive list: Hannes Grossman on drums, Jeroen Paul Thesseling on bass, and Christian Münzner on guitars—Akróasis is a moment for a new statement of intent. Kummerer isn’t dropping that statement of intent short-handed, of course, having found himself an extremely talented band; with Linus Klausenitzer manning the fretless, Sebastian Lanser manning the kit, and Rafael Trujillo playing guitar.1 With this formidable group of musicians at their posts, Akróasis is loaded for bear with all the talent necessary to deliver a vigorous argument about the band’s future.

Akróasis, like Cosmogenesis, is at its best when it is a driving, riffy endeavor. Tracks like “Ten Sepiroph” and “Ode to the Sun” show off the power of Obscura‘s riffs in unique ways. The former demonstrates the legato, 16th note riffing, something akin to Anata or Necrophagist; the bread and butter of tracks like “Anticosmic Overload.” The latter, on the other hand, shows the power in well-placed chug and simplicity, both of which are in short supply on most technical death metal records. All of the songs on here feature absolutely sick riffs. “Perpetual Infinity” has riffs that are like Obscura interpreted by Cynic. This description first occurred to me on opening “Sermon of the Seven Suns,” and given Kummerer’s liberal use of vocoder and fusion ‘breakdowns’ throughout, the phrase applies quite broadly. And I dug it.

But the more I listen to Akróasis, the more the writing feels like a mis-prioritization of form over function. Obscura makes complex, dynamic and interesting music. They’ve done this on every record. However, the goal seem to be to become more complex with each record, particularly as the scope of the songwriting has expanded. Cosmogenesis, in many ways, is a very ‘straight’ album; while Omnivium is an album expansive in its songwriting, but unwieldy. Akróasis continues in Omnivium‘s footsteps in a way I never would have expected. Not only is the songwriting more expansive—see 15 minute closer “Weltseele”—but the songs don’t feel tight; they feel almost embryonic. Rather than being a record driven by a clear vision, Akróasis is an album which winds its way forward with an awkward lurch at times. “Weltseele” is the perfect distillation of this. Until the melody that leads the album out is introduced at the 10-minute mark, no single idea is developed for longer than what feels like a few seconds. Riff after idea after riff is thrown into the song—moving ostensibly toward some kind of epic build—but there’s no locomotion; it’s all just tumbling toward a conclusion, unformed and confused.

Obscura - Akróasis 02

A sense of directionlessness is what bothers me about Akróasis as a whole, but the whole album isn’t like this. Rather, each song displays moments of it in its own way. For example, in opener “Sermon of the Seven Suns,” the band inserts slight time hiccups which are kind of cool, but feel a bit superfluous; “tech” for the sake of “tech”; form above function. This isn’t, of course, always a bad thing. “The Monist” features some really slopey, misfitting bass work from Klausenitzer (who is the record’s highlight), which takes the song next level along with impressive guitar wizardry. “Fractal Dimension” features a similar tendency toward swooping basslines under staccato rifferation, and the slightly off interplay between the guitars mixed Left and Right add to a destabilizing feel. But these moments can also rob songs of their forward drive; “Ten Sepiroth” is a burner, but rather than throwing out a 4 minute song with slick riffs and extremely impressive fretless gymnastics, the song’s vestigial acoustic part knocks the winds out of its sails.

As a whole, Akróasis sounds well-balanced. The tonality of fretless bass is surprisingly well-suited to the mixing of hypercompressed masters in modern death metal. I love the way that Klausenitzer’s bass sounds, and by moving the bass from the lowest frequencies—where it competes with the kick drum—fretless helps to overcome one of the key challenges faced by producers. But back-to-back with Cosmogenesis I was surprised at how much more pop 2009’s DR5 had compared to 2016’s DR6 (level matched, of course), which actually sounded a bit flat in comparison.

In totality, Akróasis is a frustrating record, but it’s alright. Its best moments are when the band sheds pretense, knocking out virtuoso performances and writing riffs that stick. I’ll take “Ode to the Sun,” “Ten Sepiroth,” and “Fractal Dimension” and enjoy the hell out of them going forward. But like Omnivium before it, this record collapses under its own weight. Unlike most progressive albums, I’ve actually started appreciating this album less with each listen. At first I was superficially impressed by what appeared to be a growing sophistication in the band’s approach. But with each listen the songs feel more superficial and contrived. Ultimately, Akróasis puts form above function; and while the answer to the question of “What now?” may be beautiful at times, it’s a shallow response.


Rating: OK
DR: 6 | Media Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Relapse Records
Websites: realmofobscura.com | facebook.com/RealmofObscura
Out Worldwide: February 5th, 2016

Show 1 footnote

  1. Trujillo isn’t manning anything, due to him appearing to be about 15. Also, it appears that he didn’t record this album? This is confusing to me and I have been sick for like 3 weeks and am not going to figure it out.
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  • El_Cuervo

    OK? Now you’re just intentionally fucking with us.

    • sssgadget

      2.5

    • IBlackened

      Tip: look at the tags.

      • El_Cuervo

        Yes, I’m aware. I’m winding up ol’ AMG

        • IBlackened

          Oh my… you’re one of the writers, sorry.

    • triangle

      Yeah, OK is too high.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      This is just the beginning. Just wait until he starts using “Unremarkably Middling” or “Positively Adequate”. *shudder*

    • Possible?

    • “OK” on the one hand sounds a bit like going “meh” while shrugging the shoulders. On the other hand “OK” is both “Al right” and “Approved”. I think the album deserves at least a “Quite a bit more than simply OK”. My rating on this scale would likely be “Better than good, but not exactly great”.

      • [not a Dr]

        0 Killed.
        No one died of it (yet)

    • kornspring

      Solid OK / 7

  • anonbr666

    Personally, the more I listen to this album, the more I like it. Great song structures and progress. I give it a 4.0.

    • I am in this boat and I will leave at that.

  • Antorus

    Even more decimals! Is OK a 2.7?

    • 517H

      Let’s take the midpoint between 2.5 and 3.0 so it’s a cool 2.75. If we round up that’s actually 2.8. But I like my decimals like I like my medieval torture, hung drawn and quartered. So let’s stick with 2.75

      • METAL OTTER

        Wouldn’t that depend on whether the OK was a “meh, so-so” type of OK (which would place it between Mixed and Disappointing, i.e. 2.25) or a “not too bad” type of OK (which would place it between Good and Mixed, i.e. 2.75″)?

        • 517H

          Yes it would, METAL OTTER. You raise a pertinent point regarding subjectivity and the futility of existence. Really it’s in the eye of the beholder isn’t it. The definition of “OK” doesn’t fit precisely in the rating system provided by AMG. It’s up to us to fit a vague term within the constructs of their predefined system and postulate a meaningful outcome (FYI lunch beers are the best!!)

          • METAL OTTER

            TANKARD CONCURS

          • [not a Dr]

            Doesn’t it mean “0 Killed”?

    • sssgadget

      2.5 Look at the tags.

  • Worldeater

    Reminds me of Alkaloids debut. Some strong performances & good ideas but also a lot of “meh” in between. I wood rate it “good” but i can relate to your decision also.

    • I was thinking the same thing. This genuinely reminds me of Alkaloid, which is really not what I had expected. I’d read/heard (got in a back-n-forth with a certain former drummer for this band?) that the idea was that Obscura would produce an album much more like their 2nd record. Rather, this is quite a lot more like Alkaloid. Neither album particularly entrances me.

  • The Stormin Mormon

    This is disappointing because the one song I have heard from bandcamp was awesome. Hopefully the rest of the songs come across as better than “ok” to me. As always, a well written review though!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Don’t worry its fantastic

      • FutureBeyondSatan

        This coming from a guy who likes Horrendous;)

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          Yes thats right! I know what I’m talking about :)

        • Here’s Johnny

          wtf is wrong with Horrendous?

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Tom Geldschläger(?) Aka Fountainhead is the guitarist here, not Trujillo.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      I really dug the title track amd Weltseele, but nothing else seemed that great.

    • Goldicot

      Fountainhead wrote, and maybe recorded, the album, but left before it came out. I think he didn’t think he was getting paid enough.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Kummerer fired him. And has actively tried to downplay his role on the album. Hardly a matter of moneh, it’s not exactly a secret that Kummerer is… self-aware.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        In his interview with the heavy blog his heavy podcast I’m sure Steffen states that none of his guitar parts are on the album he re did them all.
        He also says it was a lot to do with the fretless guitar which didn’t work at all.

    • I knew it was something like that. See my footnote.

  • Luke_22

    Still need to spin this more, but I’m digging it quite a bit so far. Seems a step up from Omnivium and a strong hit back after all the line up dramas.

  • One More Thing

    Look, I get that you’re not a fan of numerical value in reviews but the word labels have no real value (especially when they deviate from the scale you set in place). If you’re gonna say that it’s OK overall, there’s no reason to have that posted at the bottom for a rating because all it does is confuse people and you already wrote an entire review (and conclusion) saying that anyway. You might as well just skip that part. I’m a fan of the number system here because it’s not as loose as on other sites, so I respect it more and I interpret the review based on why the reviewer chose that score. However, if you’re gonna stray from that, you might as well not “rate it” at all. My apologies, I’m a huge fan of your site and I’m not trying to be an asshole but I just wanted to state my opinion. Feel free to dismiss it if you wish (it’s your site, after all). The review was great, per usual.

    • Diego Molero

      I’m also a fan of numerical rating and get your point, but to be fair, if you look at the tags you’ll see that is taged as a 2.5, so like the review says, it’s OK this new sistem

      • Thatguy

        You are both wrong. For once I agree with AMG on this. Aesthetic judgement cannot truly be quantified.

        • Diego Molero

          Well I am saying that this new sistem is OK, but if you want numbers, in the tags you can see them. I just prefer the numbers, but don’t complain if words are used.

          • Gabriel PérezMolphe

            Also, this article (http://www.angrymetalguy [dot] com/angry-metal-guy-speaks-on-ratings-subjectivity-and-diversity/) makes the rating system on this site worthy of being mantained.

          • I think the new system is more like 2.0, touching upon 2.5.

          • After thinking things through while taking a crap (yeah, I know what your thinking; thanks for sharing! And also, did that really take an hour?) I’ve come to the conclusion that I agree with One More Thing.

            This site has an overall feel of in-depth precision, finding all the pros and cons, weighing them on golden balance scales, writing long and thorough reviews (despite AMG’s hatred for elongated musical works. Go figure!), and finally pinpointing it on an exact scale of gradings. I think the numerical scale fits AMG very well, even if the snobbery logo is (thank goodness) gone.

      • One More Thing

        Well it doesn’t say OK for 2.5, it says Mixed now. Again, not trying to start a shitstorm but it seems like an all or nothing scenario IMO. It won’t stop me from reading the reviews or anything.

        • Diego Molero

          Yeah I haven’t noticed that until now, but still, in the tags says 2.5 so I take it as that. But as you say, it doesn’t matter, it won’t stop me from reading the reviews

    • umad?.jpg

      • One More Thing

        lol nope

        • ORLY.jpg

          • One More Thing

            Um, yes, really. I’m not mad. Confused? Absolutely. It just seems tomato tomahto-ish to go out of the way to change the system because numbers are somehow the enemy now (???). Again, just stating my opinion/confusion, not demanding anything. Again again, it won’t deter me from visiting the site and reading/enjoying the reviews.

            Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s not my “eponymous” site so screw me an my opinion. I know the drill.

          • Bombus shared my review even though I gave them a 3/5. Just gonna throw that out there. People interpret the numbers different than those numbers’ assigned meaning.

          • One More Thing

            Also, your .jpg responses left me hopeful for an actual viewable image of your responses. I have been disappointed twice now…

          • pooryou.gif

  • AndySynn

    I gave it a 4.7 and we all know mine is the only opinion that matters.

    Bow down before me peasants!!!

    AND WHERE ARE MY DAMN CAMELS?!?

    • You’ll never live to see those camels. Never!

    • Eh, if your opinion mattered so much you’d definitely have an eponymous website. Sorry, but that’s me.

      • AndySynn

        Bah. We are one and the same.

        I’ve never seen us in the same room together, so you can’t disprove that.

      • Here’s Johnny

        What makes you think your opinion matters so much? ;)

  • kmal666

    Re the Trujillo thing: Geldschlager played guitar on the album – he and Kummerer had a falling out and now we have Trujillo. Am interested to see if he can fill Tom and Chris’s shoes.

    Re the review: No. You’re wrong and you suck. This album is great.
    Won’t lie at first I was disappointed but it grew on me. Though I’m not sure it’s as good as Omnivium (Grossmann and Munzner are too good) it’s still pretty great and I’m not sure it’ll be topped by other tech death albums.

    • No, you’re wrong and you suck. But that’s okay, it’s called the Internet.

  • Kronos

    This review kind of sums up what I think of Obscura in general. I really like some of their riffs, but I’ve never heard an Obscura song and liked every part of it; off of this album I’ve listened to about 5 songs, and I like half the riffs but am totally bored by the other half.
    Not brutal enough.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      “Always be brutal. It’s the suitable thing to do.” – This has been a Kronos LTD. PSA

    • Thatguy

      Great review AMG and great comment Kronos. Your comment could be applied to the whole technical death genre. I like this album but I don’t love it and I doubt I will return to it often.

      • Kronos

        Hey, I’m the resident tech-death nerd and I really have to agree with you there. There are some bands that just kick ass all the time, and there are others that are Obscura.

    • triangle

      Same. Cool parts here and there, but ultimately boring and forgettable. That’s like every modern tech death record, though.

    • Here’s Johnny

      Go listen to some Krisiun then or something.

    • GuestAgain

      The “resident tech-death nerd”, and he thinks Sceptre of the Ancients was the best album in the genre in a decade. They need a new guy for that position. Let me guess, you listen to a song a couple times if that, skipping around and shit? Yeah. If you were a nerd for this genre, you would know the best in the genre take time to absorb. Go listen to Obscura albums twenty times in a row and come back when you know something about the genre.

      • I love how guest posters are always the most emphatic in their opinions.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    My first listen blew me away. By listen 5, I only really enjoy two tracks on the record.

    I don’t really know what happened between listen 1 and listen 5, but I feel that the trap of dis-jointed prog metal has had it’s influence over Obscura between Omnivium and Akroasis.

    • You and I appear to be in the minority, here. I can see that I’m obviously not feeling what everyone else is.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        You win some, you lose some. This album feels like the equivalent of a visual tech demo; tonnes of brilliant ideas with little cohesion, and a lot of boring bits where you take in scenery. ‘The Monist’ is wonderful, and there are some genuinely brilliant tracks, but I’d rather an all-star team than a team of all-stars.

        EDIT: this is speaking with the genre in mind. I feel certain genres are better suited to the multiple-idea approach (take grind) while others benefit from uniformity (take tech-death).

    • Here’s Johnny

      It blew you away but now it hasn’t after 5 listens? Well duh, you listened to it numerous times so the being blown away apart wore off. Just like most records.

      This album is going to be a grower i can tell, so much to sink your teeth into. An album you were blew away with doesnt change itself and then suck.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        I think you misunderstood my sentiment. The hype of the album definitely took it’s toll on my initial reaction, but upon further listens, I have been able to actually process what I have been listening to without being blinded by my own expectations. And frankly, it’s just becoming more and more apparent how disjointed the record feels (in my opinion).

        There are some albums that blew me away, and continue to do so even after 10+ listens (take Wilderun/Alustrium/Chthe’ilist/Kauan’s latest records), there are some that I disliked initially but have come to love (take bands like Black Crown Initiate/Mitochondrion/Totem Skin) and some albums that I loved on the first few listens, but proceeded to loose replay value insanely fast (take Alkaloid or this as an example).

        The album has not changed. My perception of it has. The songs by an individual stand-point are for the most part very enjoyable, but as a whole, the album suffers. Not to say I won’t jam this in the future, but other records released this year have already outdone this in terms of overall cohesiveness and replay-ability (Chthe’ilist/Gomorrah/Destroyer 666).

        This is just my opinion mind you. I don’t find constant riff changes and non-repeating song motifs to be an indicator of deep music or great tech-death. Just ask Anata.

        • Here’s Johnny

          Hmm, i’m not sure it is that disjointed though. It sometimes doesn’t link between songs as good as it could have(maybe could have done with couple instrumentals between tracks) but that isn’t much of a criticism and having great individual songs isn’t a bad thing either.

          It is weird some people are saying this because for me, it is better listened to as an album and not by individual tracks.

          It was probably hyped too much but the more i listen to it the more i like it, Fractal Dimension is just ridiculous. In fact it was so hyped i was a bit disappointed at first. After the 4th listen or so im now really starting to get how great it is.

          As i said in another reply, you have to be in the mood for an album like this. If you are, then its stunning. If you aren’t then the constant time changes(guitar/bass noodling) can put you off.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            I see where you are coming from, but I just can’t seem to get into it on the whole. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy some of the tracks. I personally wouldn’t consider it a mood-based album simply due to the plug-and-play nature of Obscura’s albums (their breed of tech-death is very accessible), but for whatever reason, I feel like there is just too much going on. I am a tech-death junkie but this isn’t hitting home. Riffs are either fantastic or average (no in-between really), build-ups are almost non-existent due to a lack of repeating motifs (Alustrium and Black Crown Initiate are prime examples of how you can build up a song without needing to revert to acoustic play. ‘Ten Sepiroth’ is a prime offender), and oftentimes complexity overrides what could make for some solid passages (one place ‘The Monist’ shines, but the rest of the album does not).

            But your mileage may (and in this case, does) vary. I feel like so many tech-death records managed to achieve more with less ideas. For every spin, I wonder if it would be more worth my time to jam Blotted Science. Noodling and time-sigs aren’t the problem. Still, can’t complain; ‘The Monist’ is a ridiculously fun track.

        • RIP Anata.

      • I was impressed, not blown away. Also, truly impressive records get better even after amazing first impressions.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          Exactly. Which is why Anata pains me so much because to this day, their records get better with each listen.

        • Here’s Johnny

          Well again it is just subjective, although i think the general consensus on this one is that it is very impressive.

          This albums flows better than all of their previous releases to me. Anyway opinions are like anuses, so they say…

  • Krzystov

    Most of the reviewers here hate anything that steps outside the norm of metal. This is the perfect example. Obscura, one of the most innovative metal bands making music today = 2.5. The “new” Anthrax, rehashed, slowed down 90s “thrash”: 4? Absurd. Obviously the tagline “less is more? That’s impossible” is possible with the new Anthrax rating.

    • Kronos

      I think if you stick around, you’ll find that the exact opposite is true, especially of Angry Metal Guy, who rarely even deems to review an album that isn’t progressive. Sure, we have plenty of people who love old-school metal, but we’re pretty damn critical of that as well.

    • The Stormin Mormon

      Obscura is one of the most popular death metal bands today and certainly could be categorized as the “norm of metal.” Additionally, this review immediately follows a post about a Taiwanese Gothic metal band with traditional Asian instruments playing the leads. In one day, both posts have run contrary to your complaints. Think about that.

    • Philip Pledger

      If AMG truly “ridicules aggressive, impassioned metal,” he wouldn’t have personally given the latest Fleshgod Apocalypse album a 4.5/5. If the staff “hate anything that steps outside the norm of metal,” the following albums would not have received perfect scores:

      Orphaned Land: The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
      Sigh: In Somniphobia
      Diablo Swing Orchestra: Pandora’s Pinata

      Also, the idea that “the metal of the past 15 years outshines ALL the metal of the 20th century” is purely subjective. There are many reviewers on this site, with a wide range of musical preferences. Not all of them have to match yours.

      • Krzystov

        Relax. EVERYTHING is subjective.

        • Philip Pledger

          Hey, just trying to find concrete counter examples. Hopefully I’m not coming across as too much of an ass in the process. :P

          • Krzystov

            You’re not. I came across as too much of an ass. I mentioned that in a post above. And you did a good job of countering my BS. As a guitarist, this Obscura album just floors me. For a minute there I lost my balance and took it out on the reviewers.

          • Philip Pledger

            It’s cool, it happens. I’m also a guitarist, so I totally get where you’re coming from about being floored. This is an album I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into.

          • The guitar work is ridiculous. The musicianship is ridiculous. The songwriting isn’t as impressive.

          • Krzystov

            That’s why I come back here. You make me laugh.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Except i can already name lots of songs off the album already. The sign of good songwriting and a good album.

    • triangle

      Curious: why is Obscura one of the most innovative metal bands? Regardless of quality, they’re not doing anything progressive and technical death metal hasn’t done before. The most unique thing about them is the fretless bass, but plenty of other bands do it too.

      • Kronos

        There’s a lot to be said about what is strictly ‘progressive’ in terms of innovation and what is progressive in terms of genre. For instance, a band like Plebeian Grandstand is releasing way more innovative music than a proof rock band like Beardfish. (I love both of the bands, this is in no way a judgement on whether they are good) Obscura may be a progressive band, but they’re not really pushing the envelope of death metal’s sound at the moment, whereas an act like Baring Teeth could be considered to do just that. There are tons of bands that are ‘avant garde’ that have a similar approach as well, in that avant garde can in some cases be a stylistic descriptor that decodes as much as ‘blackened’ or ‘-core’.

      • Here’s Johnny

        What other bands sound like ‘Weltseele’? Please do tell, i would like to know.

    • So you want us to forget every band that formed pre 2010 because they aren’t “relevant? Anthrax is a very influential band, a long time fan favorite and can attract huge crowds so they are still “relevant” to the metal scene. You’re advocating we follow only the current trend in metal and that’s something we would never do. Trend hopping is for other sites.

      • Krzystov

        No, you shouldn’t “forget every band that formed pre 2010” but you shouldn’t reward a redundant uninspired album simply because it was produced by an ancient once-mighty relic, or because if you don’t give it a high rating the record company will cease to reward you with future pre-releases. You should be honest and fair. All I ask for is integrity, and I get angry when I find traces of positive or negative aimed deceit.

        • I didn’t give Anthrax a good review because they are old, I scored it high because I love the album. Not sure what you expect from us except consulting with you first so we only use your opinion and skip our own.

          And implying deceit or whatever because you don’t agree with a writer’s score is silly.

    • Then take solace in the fact that I like metalcore, J-grind, cross-cultural metal, crossover metal, some jazz metal, and metallic hardcore!

    • This is patently false. I like stuff that goes outside the boundaries of standard metal all the time. I like progressive death metal and I enjoy absurd and weird stuff. I don’t, however, think this album is particularly good. And I don’t give any shits about retro-stuff at all and think it’s weird that you would lump me in the same box as Steel Druhm, from whence all the retro love comes.

      But y’know, you don’t agree with me, so I can understand that this must have something to do with me being the problem, not with natural disagreements about things.

      • Krzystov

        This is my favorite blog when it comes to metal reviews. Part of that comes from the design of the blog. It looks good on my laptop and good on my phone. It looks extremely professional. And although the design is simple, the reviews are not. I do sometimes as of late find myself being distracted by what may or may not be a blackhead on Abbath’s forehead. I apologize if my heated words felt like I was attacking you personally. Maybe I was and that was stupid and ignorant of me. But sometimes I feel like the reviews here are less than they should be because for whatever reason a record label skipped your site over when handing out pre-releases and you’ve decided to take it out on their musicians. You made a comment recently complaining abut not hearing the new Dream Theater because RoadRunner didn’t “like” you. Record companies today are weary of anonymous bloggers. The “big” record companies at least. So relax. This site does little to promote bands past reviews so the big guys are going to be hard to win over. Don’t take it out on the musicians. It’s just a blog. To quote Fugazi, “You are not what you own.” If you completely identify yourself with your blog you have failed as a man, and by your talent at writing I would suspect you have not failed. So relax, it’s only life on Earth we’re experiencing right now. I’ve also noticed that tech-death bores you. This review proves it, and the comments you made about Nile last year prove it. To technical death metal musicians and fans, Nile and Obscura are both bands that have earned massive amounts of respect. If you want to become a blog that is known for its disdain of tech-death, go on. It’s your site. Most would agree that they would enjoy your site more if some one with respect for a genre reviews said genre, but whatever.

        • That Nile record is poop. I can’t even listen to them anymore and they were once my favorite death metal band.

          Obscura I feel disappointed that I don’t like. And I hardly think Relapse counts as a “major label” that I’m taking things out on. Again, Fleshgod Apocalypse is on NB. Orphaned Land on CM. Honestly, I think I’m way nicer to major labels than I am to others. I think you need to stop trying to assign blame for you being pissed off about my opinion, and admit that you don’t like that I don’t agree with you. That’s legit, lots of people don’t agree with me. And obviously I’m in the minority on this one. But don’t get mad at me or impugn my motives because I don’t agree with you; accept that we can have meaningful differences of opinion.

          • Krzystov

            Well argued. I admire your rationality and reason.

          • Me, sort of. We use a template that my webmaster wouldn’t recommend but that has allowed me to customize it in a way I find pleasing.

          • Here’s Johnny

            Last Nile record was great(not their best), but still very good. Kinda like a 3.5/5. To say a band that are so technical and put so much into each track/lyrics/atmosphere album is poop, is just childish in the extreme though.

            This Obscura album is pretty amazing too. The track ‘Weltseele’ is worth the admission price alone, it is hugely ambitious/unique. The guy on here saying this is nothing new is talking out his arse.

            The one thing about Obscura i really like is that they don’t just go tech for the sake of it, not on recent albums anyway. They have learned the song is the most important thing.

          • Though I’m making the opposite argument. I think at times they are going tech for the sake of it. For me that happens when the tracks lose steam instead of gaining it from changes.

        • Here’s Johnny

          Oooo look a friend!

  • SegaGenitals

    I loved the last two albums, but this one does not work for me at all. Can’t even seem to finish it all in one go. I’d rather jam Hannes Grossman’s last solo album, or Alkaloid (not a perfect album, but much better than this one)

  • Scourge

    I think this album is great. I think this site is great too. Krzystov’s review of this site is a 1.5 at best.

    • Krzystov

      I love this site, but like I said in one of the year-end articles—for the most part—I just like to comment when I disagree.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I like that you’ve gone back from Mixed to OK for this, it’s a better reflection of what you’ve written…Which by the way is all wrong :)

    I must be on crazy pills because unlike everyone grumbling here, my appreciation for this album has grown with repeated listens and I really think this should be up there in consideration for their strongest work.
    First up I think this is a great sounding album the mix is P E R F E C T, a pleasure to listen to I’d even call it smooth! The performances are excellent Linus and Lanser are real stars and the guitars are epic crunching and melodic the songs writing is really interesting and more dynamic than previous Obscura, I don’t get a sense of directionless at all I can hear them broadening their range. it’s not often albums that hit the 50/55 min mark keep me engaged all the way. Weltseele is an epic closer though it is the track that does seem to wander a bit..
    I say it’s excellent at its best and with great moments.

    • Krzystov

      This album is brilliant. It’s funny, I was a teen during the “golden age” of metal. All the “true” metalheads hated the classics of the 90s. Voivod’s, NOTHINGFACE, was “too jazzy.” Death’s, SYMBOLIC, was “too slow.” No one knew what to think of Cynic’s, FOCUS. Almost everyone hated that album. I only had one other friend who I could listen to that album with. Everyone else was like, “Put in PANTERAAAA!!! Yeah man.” Meh.

      Shame AMG can’t hear the brilliance in this. This is Obscura’s least technical album and most melodic. Do the reviewers on this site even read the lyrics. I’m thinking not since most of the tracks they listen to are digital. Buah, just listen to the whole album before you agree with a review or a rant from Krzystov. ;)

  • Best Obscura album in my opinion but a grower, nothing as outstanding at first listen like ‘Earthborn Evolution’ from Beyond Creation for example. I love the production on the guitars, the album sounds similar to the last Gorod, heavy but without using a mass of distortion. Least favorite point, the way the drums sound.

  • My impression is exactly the same after 10th listen, like it was at the very first time – this is their best work, more straightforward than Omnivium, but more inventive than Cosmogenesis. Tasty choirs and strings, creepy-weepy fretless guitar solos (too bad that Fountainhead isn’t in the band anymore), killer choruses (“Ten Sepiroth”)… Maybe it lacks THE ULTIMATE RIFF like in “Centric Flow”, but overall I’d give it at least a solid 4.

    The only minor thing I dislike in this record, is bonus track, “Origin of Primal Expression”, which is just a shameless ripoff of “Voice of the Soul”.

    However, my judgement can be slightly distorted, cause I madly love this particular way of mixing (also preset in Malkuth Grimoire, Radial Covenant and partially in older Obscura records). Snappy drums with plenty of air and attack, fat bass, not robbed of low end and punchy, warm guitars without those stinging frequencies around 4kHz. Mmmmmm.

  • michael rodrigues

    the vocals kind of kill it for me. some one make this instrumental!

    • michael rodrigues

      im very picky when it comes to vocals

      • Luke_22

        I prefer his deeper range personally, it’s all pretty solid though.

    • Wilhelm

      I really liked the vocals

  • Wilhelm

    I know no history on this band, but I really liked this song. The mastering is a bit loud, but I loved the mix, reminds me of latter Katatonia in that way.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I haven’t listened to this album enough times to form a proper opinion but from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty damn good. The Monist especially is a total highlight. Super groovy track.

    • I feel like the tracks taken alone are pretty good, just the whole kind of leaves me cold.

  • Felchmeister666

    Thanks for going against the grain and actually highlighting a MAJOR issue with lots of albums/bands like this: No feeling…

    Too much unoriginal fretboard-wanking and all this ‘showing off’, it’s ridiculous. Yet kids still lap it up.

    Modern day metal is generally so damn poor compared to a decade or three ago…

    • Krzystov

      What did you listen to 30 seconds of this?

      • Felchmeister666

        Have up after about three tracks. There were a few cool sections but they were over before they began.

        As with so much of this music, it’s about sitting through all the dull wankery and ‘waiting for the good bit’. Which I’m sick of doing to be honest. I’ve been listening to death metal for twenty years + and it’s rarely felt like such a mundane, lifeless sub genre as it does now.

    • You’re criticizing technical metal for being technical. This genre is all about cold-calculated fretboard wanking and showing off, that’s the point. It can be done good or bad, and should be judged alongside with similar acts. IMO in reviewing TDM albums more attention should be paid to technique, sound and balance. Lack of feeling, emotions and catchiness is part of the genre.
      Actually, Obscura make very accesible and “songy” material, compared to i.e. Archspire or Soreption.

    • So I pretty much disagree with this assessment. I think there’s a lot to like here. And frankly, I think there’s quite a lot of “feeling” in the best techy bands.

      • Sorry for a little off-top, but I’d like to know which are the best techy bands in your opinion. I’m looking for something more unique, with it’s own character… Now, besides Obscura, I come back only to Psycroptic, Beyond Creation, Faceless, Gorod, Decrepit Birth and Spawn of Possession (and recently Alkaloid & Conquering Dystopia). Everything else just melts into one mess for me.
        I’m not sure if bands like Gorguts (more avant-garde?) or Decapitated (more br00tal?) count as “techy”.

        Thanks!

        • SegaGenitals

          Try… Anata, Ne Obliviscaris, Sophicide, Revocation, or Acrania ( the one from Mexico ) If you like Gorguts, try Ulcerate, Ad Nauseam, Abyssal Gods, Artificial Brain… These are certainly techy in my book. All are fantabulous.

          • Thanks very much! NeO and Revocation are among my favorites, don’t know why I didn’t mentioned them (maybe they are in my other books :) ).
            I also listened to Anata and Ulcerate a long time ago and have to refresh my memory. But the rest is completely unknown for me.
            P.S.
            I thought that you made a typo and looked for “Arcania”…

          • Kronos

            Acrania has more feeling in a single riff than a lot of metal bands do in their entire discography

          • I just listened to their newest record. It was like The Mars Volta on heavier-than-usual drugs, speeded up to pure craziness. DIG IT.

          • SegaGenitals

            Damn right. !!!

          • SegaGenitals

            Have you heard the new Ur Draugr album. Would love to see a review.

        • [not a Dr]

          Unexpect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Scourge

      I tend to avoid Tech Death for similar reasons… Lot’s of wankery and not a lot of emoting, or at least not much of an emotional range. I thought this Obscura album was highly melodic and pretty damn emotional.

  • Felchmeister666

    Fuck that.

    All this overly complex shit is often basically little more than a mathematical equations…but with sound. It’s not listenable, it’s not catchy, it’s just boring.

    This is coming from someone who adored Cynic’s debut in ’94 and was blown away by Dream Theater/Watchtower etc around the same time. I’m all for complexity, but most of this current ‘tech death’ says NOTHING that wasn’t said a lot better twenty years ago.

    • Here’s Johnny

      or your brain can’t process the equations. Obscura add nothing new? Alrighttyyy then!

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      hmmmm that sounds an awful lot like your opinion, maaan, I suggest you relax with some basic finger counting then go and yell at some skateboarders … about how skateboarding was so much more real and had so much more feeling 20 years ago,

      • Felchmeister666

        Course it’s my opinion. Kinda how it works..

        Fart badger..

    • [not a Dr]

      Nostalgia also was way better back then.

  • HMG

    Amazingly Good!

    • Here’s Johnny

      Shhhhh, you will be kicked out the (elite)club.

      • You are beating this very dead horse quite too much. It’s got nothing left, my friend.

  • Here’s Johnny

    Obscura is like Cynic, Necrophagist, Death, Morbid Angel had an orgy and a child was born(possessing superior intellect). Even a bit of King Crimson in there.

    Awesome album. Give Tech/Death Metal to someone else next time, please.

  • Dan

    “OK”? This used to be my go to site for reviews, but I’m done now. Site should be changed to angrymetaltroll

  • Vinay Havouc Joshi

    I have listened to the record many times & with each listen, there’s something new to listen to. This album is a master class. Also the review comes from a guy who writes cosmogenesis as cosmic genesis. This is the most melodic obscura album IMO.

  • jersey devil

    This album is hugely disappointing. A lot of aimless noodling. And the occasional background vocals that go through a synthesizer or whatever so they sound spacy (song 2)–just terrible. The first 2 songs are downright bad. Song #3 is ok. Song #4 sort of ok. Song #5-more space vocals through a machine, and aimless bass noodling. I used to like Obscura.