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Obscura - Omnivium CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.79 | 67 ratings

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The Block
4 stars Celestial Spheres

Obscura's latest album is definitely the best death metal albums I've heard so far this year, and is also one of the top overall albums, too. Sometimes utterly brutal and other times softer, though I find it hard to classify any of this as soft, Obscura has reached their peak in both creativity and musicianship. Not only have they released a great album, but they've redefined technical death metal once again and, in my mind, reached to the point of other technical death metal greats such as Atheist and Cynic.

From the first listen of the album I enjoyed it, especially the great guitar work by both Christian Muenzner and Steffen Kummerer. The solos on this album are absolutely awesome and increase the enjoyment of listening to this album a lot. On songs such as "Aevum" the guitars set the tone and carry the melody perfectly, providing a nice, even feel that is hardly paralleled in today's metal scene. Though mostly a guitar and drum driven album, Jeroen Paul Thesseling's bass work is top notch and really drives the album. This is especially evident on tracks such as "Euclidean Elements" and "Septuagint" where his 6 string bass shows how diverse Obscura is, and how they don't suffer from many of the genre clichés.

One thing that I wasn't sold on from the beginning though was the drumming. Unlike bands such as Atheist, Death, and Cynic, Obscura's drumming changes sound and texture throughout the album. At first I wasn't sure I really like that, since it sounded kind of artificial, but after a while I began to see it really added to their overall sound. On the track "Septuagint" this is especially shown in the beginning when it is a nice acoustic section that has the normal drum sound, but it then transfers into a technical death metal melody in which the drums change and become hollower sounding, so to say. That may sound bad, but it offers up a great sound that is really enjoyable and fits right in. Also, the acoustic sections on this album are very good and help distance this album so many others. The vocals are also very good. Steffen Kummerer has a knack for growling and it is really depicts Obscura's image.

The production is excellent, clean, and clear. It really helps the quality of an album when the production is good, and that is what we have here. Not only is it a great production, but a great album as well.

If you like technical death metal, just a little bit you will be blown away by this album. Not only is it a genre defining piece but it has great musicianship, wonderful production, and great creativity. This album is a must have for any metal fan and definitely one of the best releases of 2011. For this fantastic album, Obscura gets 4.5 stars.

The Block | 4/5 |


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