Review Summary: Another solid offering from the viking metal veterans.Tenkterra
is not an album for the black metal elitist, nor is it for the most grizzly of death metal head-bangers. It is not Banquet In The Darkness
-brutal melody, nor is it Nattestid Ser Porten Vid
-melodic black excellence. Rather, Viking metallers Obscurity’s fifth studio album is strictly solid, strictly fun
, as far as melodic black/death metal goes, and though I’ve already limited my audience to our own Kyle Ward, Hawks, Matt P. and Wylie McCloskey, the last on a good day anyway, it’s well worth checking out for any metalhead this year, particularly those that may have been left upset from the melodic disappointments of Dark Tranquillity
’s We Are The Void
’s Everything Remains As It Never Was
earlier this year.
Obscurity are strictly a German viking metal band, and as such, their lyrics are entirely growled/shrieked in German. However, don’t let that sway you from listening, as the melodies are so strong as to make the loss of the lyrics’ meaning of no consequence. There is a concept here – in fact, Tenkerra
is a concept album that revolves around the late B.C. to early A.D. period of Germany, enter Rome and bloodshed, etc. But the strength of the music alone, particularly in the area of consistency, makes the album an enjoyable, fun listen, no matter what may be taking place in the album’s story, or even on what track you may be currently on.
Voice Agalaz retains a high-produced and substancial shriek, though, not quite native to much of black metal, true, but rather grounded in the recent arise of modern melodic black metal bands – quiet, Karl. Suffice it to say, Tenkterra
is all the better for it. The vocalist rides mid-to-fast-riffs from guitarists Cortez and Dornaz with finesse, squeezing his own tight melodies into those of the axemen themselves. Highlights are few, but this is mainly due to the album’s consistency as a whole. It would be nice if Tenkerra
didn’t blend together so much, actually, this being its main downfall. But as far as melodic black/death goes, particularily in the context of the dismal 2010 year, consistency-good/great is much better than consistently-bad/average. Tell that to Dark Tranquillity
next time you see them, boys. Great work.