Obscura
Cosmogenesis


4.5
superb

Review

by Frederick Metzengerstein USER (202 Reviews)
February 6th, 2009 | 569 replies | 35,291 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 2009's greatest M3TAL record bar none. German bred tech death stalwarts Obscura conjure the spirits of Death, Opeth, Cynic, and Necrophagist to create an early contender for best M3TAL record of 2009.

15 of 15 thought this review was well written

Forming a tech metal band with two former members of Necrophagist and one of Pestilence is a sure fire way to develop a high profile in the metal community. And that is exactly what Obscura have done. The band formed in Germany around 2002 with a desire to play technical death metal. Other than this quaint little piece of information I found off of lastfm, the only other thing I know about the band is that they were thrust into the limelight at a very early age providing direct support for Suffocation. After their latest gem of an album “Cosmogenesis” Obscura pretty much deserve everything and anything thrown in their way.

Do you like Symbolic era Death? Necrophagist? Opeth perhaps? Would you also like a smidgeon of Cynic thrown in the pot for good measure? If this sounds like a pretty potent mix then look no further. Picture the speed of Necrophagist blending with the precision of Death, the weirdness of Cynic, and the progressive rock element of Opeth. The influence of these bands is too uncanny for my incompetence to try and explain. However, Obscura are far more than just a rip-off of the greats. They are a highly creative outfit that brings a whole new meaning to technical death metal. This album features a great usage of dynamics often shifting between slow, spacey instrumentals to rapid fire blast beating in a moments flat. Time signatures run the course between unpredictable and uneasy never giving the listener too much time to sit back and relax. Guttural vocals soon enter with some jazzy bass tapping providing backup before erupting into a serene Opethian like interlude. And I’m only starting to chip away at the surface folks. If you like what you see, keep on reading. This means you Gerard Butler.

Considering this was my first experience to Obscura I didn’t know what to expect from the musicianship. What I learned is that Obscura want to throw everything in your face, yet remaining cohesive. Starting with guitars. Christian Muenzner, ex Necrophagist fame, delivers a calculated six stringing assault to the senses shifting between Shuldiner inspired riffing and the Necrophgaist brand of shred. I must say his abilities as a guitar player are not to be underestimated. It’s clear he understands the importance of strong song writing because his performance never stops at one particular format, he keeps on bringing new ideas to the mix. He’ll give you some shredding solos, some tech riffing so catchy it should be a crime, some killer harmonies and hell, the track Orbital Elements is basically driven by acoustic guitar and off kilter bass line. Which brings to mind my next point. Jeroen Paul Thesseling, ex Pestilence, is a dynamic bass player that excels at manipulating tempo changes with creativity. His presence is quite prominent and at times dominating the guitar in terms of explosiveness. The vocals, a shade less creative than bass and guitar respectively are still handled relatively well by Steffen Kummerer. He seems to favor the lower pitched death growl as his weapon of choice yet never hesitant to reach the higher strain. Both sound great, especially the lower pitched growls because they don’t reach the obnoxiousness or lameness of “cough” Deicide cough” Six Feet’ Under. I shouldn’t have been surprised but damn it I was completely caught off guard by the vocoder in Noospheres. The opening just screams Cynic so fail on my part. Drumming, handled by another ex Necrophagist legion in Hannes Grossmann fills the skinsman role effectively and professionally. His blast beating technique is so nimble and so punishing I feel like a hammer is being taken to my skull and bashed in repeatedly there is nothing left but a soggy mass of brain matter. The double bass and drum fills leave a similar effect.

Songwriting is extremely varied in scope and displays what Obscura is best at. Binding different elements and a mix of genres together is a tricky thing to pull off but Obscura have proved they are talented and experienced enough to make it all come together in a cohesive structure. Stand out tracks are plenty, and it’s hard to pick out my favorites from the ten impressive offerings displayed but I will have to go with “Incarnated” and the epic closing track “Centric Flow” as my top choices. As for the album, I personally see no flaws with it although perfection in itself is an impossibility. Regardless, this album has the appeal and the sonic power to garner a large fan base on sputnik. So to those who like technical death metal, Opeth, Cynic, and Cynic, I urge you to give this a spin. This is my favorite album of 2009 hands down and I would be hard-pressed to find any other metal record just as or even more impressive after this.



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CrippleGod (4)
It is the sectional contrasts and the brilliant mixture of ferocity and melody that elevates Obscura...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Big # 90 whoot and social distractions/ carving my right hand at work aside, I think it turned out alright given my lack of intrest in grammar.

Essence
February 6th 2009



3556 Comments


Thanks for bumping my review prick
just kidding, nice work

Phantom
February 6th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Do you like Symbolic era Death? Necrophagist? Opeth perhaps

Yes, yes, yes!


Nice review Balls, this definitely sounds like it's worth checking out.

Oh and did you mean Gerard Butler as in Gerard "King Leonidas" Butler?This Message Edited On 02.06.09

NortherlyNanook
February 6th 2009



1285 Comments


Using "M3TAL" in the summary is just making you seem more and more like a parody of yourself.

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

S..T..F..U.. Nanok. Just go with it. Yeah Phantom, have you seen Rocknrolla, fucking kicktacular movie. See it immediately, after you get this album.This Message Edited On 02.06.09

Phantom
February 6th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was going to buy it today, but it was too expensive and I didn't have enough cash. I might try and stream it/dl it tonight.

I did buy Lock Stock For £3 though. Win.This Message Edited On 02.06.09

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Win indeed.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
February 6th 2009



3995 Comments


Do you guys just sit waiting around for leaks on Lucid and then review these albums within 3 hours?

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Truthfully, no. I waited a couple days.

Mr Fahrenheit
February 6th 2009



37 Comments


I really don't like the vocals but the musicianship sounds too good for me to pass this up

Anthracks
February 6th 2009



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not even close to metal album of the year material.This Message Edited On 02.06.09

Digging: Tobacco - Ultima II Massage

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would politely like to send your way....Fuck off.

Yazz_Flute
February 6th 2009



18735 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have this preordered on amazon, stoked for it the myspace tracks sound phenomenal.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

Anthracks
February 6th 2009



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

A toned down amalgamation of bands that already exist doesn't warrant a good album that's just my stance. I don't really find it that enjoyable regardless.

BallsToTheWall
February 6th 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Alright then, that's a good counter.

bastard
February 6th 2009



3435 Comments


meh i might check this out, Necrophagist are decent.

Willie
Moderator
February 6th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This band is opening up for Cannibal Corpse, apparently. This is pretty good from what I heard on Myspace.

Edit: 17 comments and your first Pos... yep, that was me.This Message Edited On 02.06.09

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Phantom
February 6th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I meant to pos. Although the m3tal is a little questionable. Will do now.



Willie
Moderator
February 6th 2009



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Although the m3tal is a little questionable.
It's Balls. It might seem weird or worse to someone random, but to anyone that knows his style... it's just Balls.

Phantom
February 6th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

True. It doesn't detract from the review, was just a little weird to see.



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