- New Name In Metal Mythology. That's a very bold name for an album, don't you think? The four Russian guys who made this album definitely don't hold back their emotions and thoughts, that's for sure. Symbol Of Obscurity is a new melodic death metal band out of the desolate plains of Russia, and what is interesting about them is that the style of melodeath they play is actually somewhat unique (regarding melodeath). No, it isn't the standard metalcore-meets-melodic-death-vocals-and-catchy-choruses that has come oh so popular today, nor is it the old-school style of At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity or The Jester Race
era In Flames. All the usual treats of melodic death metal are there - skillful lead guitar work, harsh vocals and driving melodies - yet this band does it somehow differently.
Maybe it's because of the production on this album, which is very cleverly crafted: the lead guitar sound is loud and clear along with the oppressive harsh vocals, but in the middle of most songs, guitars, bass and drums all break into a muddy wall of sound that is best exhibited in the song "Hear Your Hate" where after the clean-sounding verses and choruses the song unexpectedly changes into a wall of muddy guitars and double-bass blasts.
Then again, it's not only due to the production. The sound of this album is just very balanced overall and is also a big reason why it's so great. The keyboards used on this record aren't overly protruding like in many other melodeath bands, and to add to that, the songs are not driven by vocal hooks or standout solos. Here, all the songs have good build-ups, and so, there is much more to remember than just a memorable chorus or a good solo. The instrumental work is very well tied together and the band doesn’t rely on run of the mill hooks just so they could appeal to the mainstream. No no, Symbol Of Obscurity actually concentrate on creating good melodeath instead of worrying about how popular they are or how big is their income.
might not be appealing on the very first listen, but it grows on the listener, despite being an only six track album that covers just a little more than 20 minutes. Also, it must be noted that the first two tracks aren't of the same quality than the last four. “Brutality” isn’t a bad opener, but it would benefit by having a bit more punch so it could live up to its name better. Second song "Sentenced To Eternity” is this album’s only letdown. It’s dull compared to the other five songs, and besides the two short solos, there isn't much to be noted except that the keyboards are too overwhelming on this track (and on this track only). From there on though the album gets into gear, “Hear Your Hate” kicks things open properly and n.N.i.M.m.
doesn’t let-up until the end. That in total makes for 4 awesome tracks, 1 good track and a one disappointing one (luckily "Sentenced To Eternity" is only 2.30 long so it doesn’t consume much of the album’s total playing time).
Symbol Of Obscurity haven’t changed metal mythology yet, but they do have created a good and somewhat unique melodic death metal album. Now that, my friends, is something to be content with during these dark times for the genre. Anyone who enjoys this album should also check out Symbol Of Obscurity’s second affair called R.F.M.
(Rotting Flesh Machinery) as this is a band worth looking into. n.N.i.M.m.
is greatly recommended to everyone who like melodic metal.