Obscura
Akróasis


4.5
superb

Review

by dvd0bvb USER (10 Reviews)
February 4th, 2016 | 121 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Obscura's long awaited delivery

It has been five years since the last release from Obscura, and long overdue according to their fans. On Akroasis Obscura seem to have taken all of their major influences and melded them seamlessly with their brand of technical progressive death metal. Upon first listen it is abundantly clear that Death has left their mark on this band and with choruses such as those in “The Monist” I can’t help but to also hear Cynic playing in the back of my mind.

It is the blend of these two great influences with the virtuosic abilities and incredible sense of melody that make Obscura’s signature sound. In fact, Akroasis is arguably the most melodic and accessible of their releases to date. Throughout the entire album the band creates a sensory atmosphere so thick the listener could almost lay back and let it float them away. On the surface, little waves of clean guitar melody gently bob on top of a thicker sound of either another melody or rhythm. The rich audible bass provides a buoyancy to the higher melodies, even including its own at times, and the drums are a constant, driving, complex current. The best example of this comes from the title track, also the first single the band released. Admittedly, it is pretty self indulgent, especially in the sweeping lead guitars, however no one part stands out over another, each melody supports the others. So even while those leads are playing thirty seconds or sixteenth triplets they are part of the grander scheme of the song, creating a capacious, yet cohesive sound. This is not to imply that Obscura has sacrificed their heavy sound in the sake of melody. In fact, “Ode to the Sun” sounds like an ode to Retribution, their first full length release. Perhaps an homage to their namesake.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Obscura is their production. In a genre replete with the sounds of instruments seemingly made of the same material as the CD that contains their music Obscura has stood out as being incredibly sensible about how they have had their past works produced. On Akroasis, this is no less true. While everything sounds super clean (which is probably more a consequence of their musicianship than the work of the producer), they still manage to keep a somewhat raw death metal sound; a quality that is highly undervalued by many of Obscura’s peers.

Akroasis, in Greek, means hearing or listening. I’m not sure if there could be a more appropriate title. The entire album is an hour long listening experience. It is definitely great to see technical death metal coming out so strong this early and, personally, gives me high hopes for the rest of the year.



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user ratings (281)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
February 4th 2016


3228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, I'll probably check this out. I like a few songs off of Cosmogenesis.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2016


2124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review man. I'm reading everywhere that this is an improvement over their last two releases so I'll probably check it out.



I can’t help but to also hear “Veil of Maya” playing in the back of my mind



Even though any listener worth their salt knows what you're referring to, you should probably specify that you mean the Cynic song, not the band. It would read a little better too seeing as you've cited Death by name as opposed to a song of theirs, as well.



the listener could almost lay back and let it float them away



I'd go with another metaphor, this one throws the tone of the review off - afterall, this is still death metal.



(LOL)



Should probably get rid of this.



On Akroasis this is no less true



Put a comma after the album title.



which is probably more a consequence of their musicianship than the work of the producer



I'd maybe put this in parentheses, the sentence is a bit of a run-on, otherwise.



Other than that, nice work. Pos : )

dvd0bvb
February 4th 2016


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the feedback Jac.



I try to go by MLA standards when I write about music, song titles in quotes, albums in italics. But if it needs more clarification I'll fix it.



You're right, it is death metal, perhaps peaceful floating isn't the best allusion. I chose that metaphor because it's how I felt listening to this. Made it personal.

Tunaboy45
February 4th 2016


15609 Comments


Very excited to hear this, great review man have a pos.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

Piripichotes
February 4th 2016


415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

colour me interested

Digging: Xanthochroid - Of Erthe and Axen: Act II

Piripichotes
February 4th 2016


415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

pos'd

ChaoticVortex
February 4th 2016


496 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I personally always really liked Obscura, excited for this new album as well.

bloc
February 4th 2016


44292 Comments


I love the title of the album, such a cool and exotic sounding word

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

EnyaFangirl
February 5th 2016


1568 Comments


i thought cosmogenesis was a fun listen, but i havent heard anything else by them

if this tops it then i can't wait to check this

Asmodeuss1990
February 5th 2016


367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd. Fucking stellar album.

AlphaBetaFoxface
February 5th 2016


89 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm hoping what I am hearing is actually as good as I think it is. I am afraid to say this is Obscura's best album by a few miles, but my ears might just be correct. I need to give it a few more listens but I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the top tech-death records of the 2010's.

TheNotrap
February 5th 2016


8633 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pretty interesting release, in the vein of their previous works.



"It is the blend of these two great influences with the virtuosic abilities and incredible sense of melody that make Obscura’s signature sound."

Necrophagist was easily their early main influence (especially on Cosmogenesis), however the band's signature sound is now indeed closer to Florida's Tech DM than Muhammed.



Have a pos.



Digging: Sorcerer - The Crowning of the Fire King

SacredSerenity
February 5th 2016


620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album, can easily climb uo to the 4.5 after a few listens

bloc
February 6th 2016


44292 Comments


Yeah this is pretty swell. I love the fretless guitar bits

RenegaDrifter
February 6th 2016


258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't know. After the crazy, epic, progressive album opener they quickly toss on the restraints. Too much control over this chaos for my tastes.

PizzaismynameO
February 6th 2016


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Right now I'm feeling its on par with their previous efforts, but a few more listens can change that. The Monist and title track are bangers though.

MistaCrave
February 6th 2016


2475 Comments


Is this really that good? The single that I heard was pretty meh

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2016


10178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i don't think you'd like it judging from what i know of your taste

MistaCrave
February 6th 2016


2475 Comments


Yeah, figured as much. Glad everybody else is digging this though

sonictheplumber
February 6th 2016


8483 Comments


bet this is real technical and boring



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