Review Summary: Soul sucking sterility.
Obscura. It’s as much as a title of status as it is a band name. While the hype train has been running full steam and full speed for the better part of twelve years the band has certainly earned its place within death metal lore. The only question is whether the band’s hype train will stop to let listeners board, or pass the platform completely… leaving fans stranded. Whether or not you’ve been convinced of Obscura’s musical majesty or not, it’s almost undeniably easy to drop a reference to Cosmogenesis
when discussing the realms of technically adverse, progressive death metal.
From the album’s opening notes, “Clandestine Stars” feels suppressed into being. Sure, there’s the usual array of blasts and riffs, topped with any level of noodling interest. But the feeling is gone, void and all within the first minute of the record’s beginnings. With all of this in mind it’s clearly important to realise that Diluvium
isn’t a complete waste of time. The record’s title track is of particular note. With so much attention being forced onto the musicianship and utmost capabilities of Obscura’s lineup, the simplicity of the album’s title track actually stands above the drivel found within the rest of the Diluvium’s
duration. Vocally, Obscura’s 2018 piece is as inconsistent as the band’s discography. Here, they lack substance and power occasionally resorting to the electronically distorted and somewhat robotic modification of Steffen Kummerer’s vocal phrasing (not unlike a child speaking into the moving blades of a pedestal fan). The result leads to a weakened, artificial soundscape of unrewarding potential, leaving it dormant instead. To continue with the simile above: the train didn’t just miss the platform, it fell of the tracks…
Much of this theme bulks out what’s left of this disappointing album. That’s not to say that die-hard fans won’t find their usual levels of enjoyment here, but the self indulgent, haphazardly thrown together sections of music have sucked the life out of what should be an incredibly enjoyable record. Obscura show exactly just how a band can have all the skill at their disposal, the dexterity of an already established name and somehow achieve almost nothing within their own little world.
Regardless of what a particular listener may feel about Obscura music, there is a success story here. Unfortunately, in regard to Obscura’s latest offering in Diluvium
the general listener will feel it's incredibly undeserved. Diluvium
is stale, sterile and awash with tones of neutrality. What should be filled to the brim with flamboyance, life and forward thinking musicianship is replaced with instrumental masturbation and devoid vocal efforts. Akróasis
seems so incredibly far away. For fifty four minutes, listeners are treated to some of the most boring, technically sound death metal 2018 has to offer.
For now it seems the Obscura train will in fact keep chugging on, but if the very geological definition of diluvium is to be believed the superficial washing away of anything worthwhile or real from the Obscura camp has occurred already leaving only a synthetic shell of what could have been.