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Obscura - Akrķasis CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 34 ratings

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4 stars Obscura went through a considerable line-up change in 2015 when both drummer Hannes Grossmann and guitarist Christian Muenzner left the band to pursue other projects. Since they were also composers for Obscura's material, it was unclear in which direction exactly they would head - the only indication was Grossmann's comment, saying that Kummerer wanted to go back into the musical direction of 'Cosmogenesis' rather than follow on in that of 'Omnivium'. Now that the new album has arrived I must say that I am really delighted with it. Sebastian Lanser (Panzerballett) surely is a force to be reckoned with on the drums and new guitarist Tom Geldschläger seems a worthy replacement of Muenzner. The album starts off with "Sermon of the Seven Suns" in the classic sound, quite similar to their well-known "Anticosmis Overload". With a nice balance between more quiet parts, impressive solos and stomping blast beats, all layered with the bright sound of Klausenitzer's bass, it is a nice start to the album sure to please fans of the Obsura sound. "The Monist" is a slower and more heavy-sounding song. It fits nicely between the very melodic "Akroasis" and mixed "Sermon of the Seven Suns". "Akroasis", which was released as a music video before the album's release date, perfectly blends melodic blast beats and excellent guitar playing by Tom Geldschläger. A true highlight for fans of melodic, yet technical death metal. "Ten Sepiroth" starts off with a quiet guitar intro, which soon turns into a fast death metal sound. Intense drumming by Lanser and well crafted transition between the parts make it a song that keeps the listener interested until the end. In the second half, the bass comes to the fore once more and creates a balance between a fast guitar solo and pounding drums. "Ode to the Sun" has a more heavy death metal sound to it with less melodic and lower guitar riffs. Its mostly kept at low speed, which gives it a very heavy sound, layered with robotic, almost ethereal sounding vocals in the middle. "Fractal Dimension" resumes the fast blastbeat sound, though not for long. Intersparsed with multiple guitar solos and a quiet guitar part in the second half, makes it a well-crafted technical death metal song, which does not become boring despite its length. "Perpetual Infinity" starts off quietly and incorporates the auto-tuned vocals already used in "Ode to the Sun". Then, through various shifts in its speed, it returns to a fast-paced death metal sound. "Weltseele" (anima mundi) is an ususually long song but a nice surprise, I think. It develops from a quiet guitar part to a slightly slower death metal blast, marked by multiple time shifts, but then returns to a quiet interlude, which even incorporates strings. From there it slowly returns to a heavier, more speedy sound only to finish on a quiet note.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this new effort by the band. It surely lives up to the standard set by the first records, though at times it could use some more variation with regards to the guitar riffs. The musicianship is flawless, as is the sound. Lyricwise it still revolves around the same cosmic themes, already present in the previous albums. Surely an album that should please fans of the Obscura sound.

arschiparschi | 4/5 |


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