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Obscura Omnivium album cover
3.80 | 68 ratings | 7 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Septuagint (7:18)
2. Vortex Omnivium (4:14)
3. Ocean Gateways (5:56)
4. Euclidean Elements (4:51)
5. Prismal Dawn (6:20)
6. Celestial Spheres (5:28)
7. Velocity (6:04)
8. A Transcendental Serenade (6:13)
9. Aevum (7:51)

Total Time 54:15

Bonus track on 2011 German edition:
10. Concerto (Cacophony cover version) (4:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- Steffen Kummerer / vocals, guitar
- Christian Muenzner / guitar
- Jeroen Paul Thesseling / bass
- Hannes Grossmann / drums

- Tommy Talamanca / guitar solo (4)
- Florian Magnus Maier / guitar solo (7)

Releases information

Based on Friedrich Schelling's "On Nature's Connection to the Spirit World"

Artwork: Orion Landau

CD Relapse Records ‎- RR 7126-2 (2011, US)
CD Relapse Records ‎? RR7157 (2011, Germany) With a bonus track

2LP Relapse Records ‎- RR 7126-2 (2011, US) Different track order

Digital album

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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OBSCURA Omnivium ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

OBSCURA Omnivium reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by J-Man
4 stars Obscura left a permanent mark on the technical death metal scene with their 2009 album Cosmogenesis, and it certainly looks like they've done it yet again with Omnivium. Technical death metal has been a bit of a stagnant genre in recent years, but Obscura has assured me that it's far from dead. These guys just constantly push boundaries and kick tons of ass in the process! If you consider yourself a fan of technical/progressive death metal but can pass on many of the genre clichés, Omnivium is one of the most essential releases in recent memory. On this album you'll find innovation, breathtaking musicianship, and compositions that are impossible to ever forget. Any progressive/technical death metal fan can consider this album a "must-have" in my book - I have a feeling that we'll be looking back on Omnivium 20 years from now as a genre-defining album.

Obscura plays a style of progressive/technical death metal with clear influences from bands such as Atheist, Death, Cynic, and even touches of progressive melodeath like Opeth (there's substantial amounts of acoustic guitar on this album). Although this style of music has been done to death in recent years and has been watered down by metalcore influences, Obscura still has their own identity and never seems at all like a "clone band". Unlike many modern technical death metal CD's, Omnivium isn't all about never-ending scale acrobatics, and -core influences are kept to a minimum. This album manages to seamlessly mix unrelenting complexity with melody and memorability, and that in itself is worthy of accolades. One interesting note is the 6-string fretless bass from Jeroen Paul Thesseling, and that also gives Obscura their own identity. His playing style often reminds me of Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Sadus), which is obviously a good thing.

The production is yet another shining achievement of Omnivium. The sound is crystal clear, full, and extremely clean. This is a top-notch sound, and definitely among the best I've heard in modern extreme metal.

If you were convinced by the previous Obscura album, there's no doubt that you'll be blown away once again by Omnivium. This is yet another killer slab of metal from these German juggernauts; I'm sure that this will go down as a classic in the history books. These guys are at the top of the technical death metal world right now, and Omnivium has earned them an excellent 4.5 from this humble reviewer. If you like technical death metal, get this one NOW!

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the third album from German metal band Obscura. I haven't heard their first two. From what I have read, these guys get compared to Necrophagist, a band I've never heard. The music here sounds influenced by 1990s Athiest and Death. There is a 6-string fretless bass and the occasional Cynic-like use of vocoder vocals. Some Opethian acoustic guitar once in a while too. In general I don't really care for the singing here. I thought death growls were unintentionally hilarious 15 years ago and I still think so.

The growls here are not of the 'cookie monster' variety, but rather 'Dr. Claw' sounding. Dr. Claw was the villain from the cartoon Inspector Gadget. Yes folks, apparently even with death growling there is variation. I personally only like growling when women do it but that's just me. Apart from the growls, there is also somewhere-between-yelling-and-screaming vocals as well as 'clean' vocals. This kind of music is referred to as 'technical death metal,' otherwise known as 'chick music.'

"Septuagint" opens the album. The beginning reminds me of '80s Metallica with the classical acoustic guitar intro followed by harmonized electric guitars. Nice clean singing in the middle and more harmonized guitars. Cliche metal soloing after 5 minutes. I love the soloing and melodic fretless bass in "Vortex Omnivium." Cool choir-like vocals near the end. "Ocean Gateways" is the only song where I actually sorta kinda enjoy the Dr. Claw death growls, which sometimes sound altered. I like the main Sabbath-like riff as well.

"Prismal Dawn" opens with more acoustic guitar. Nice lead guitar playing. Some melodic studio altered harmony vocals. Drummer goes into a steady 4/4 beat briefly. A little bit of spoken word. More cliche metal soloing at times. Some of the best moments on the album can be heard during the last 2 minutes of this song. "Celestial Spheres" has some great vocoderized vocals. More clean singing as well as harmonized and acoustic guitars. Features an excellent but too short bass solo.

"Velocity" is the most dissonant and challenging song. Almost sounds like Math Rock in places. It gets more melodic and accessible during the guitar solo. Some vocoder vocals. It almost sounds like a few piano notes at the beginning of "A Transcendental Serenade." I like the sound of the guitars in the middle. Holy blastbeats, Batman! Just love the melodic vocoder vocals at the end; just may be my favourite part of the whole album.

For a 2011 release this isn't bad music at all. Not extremely original or groundbreaking but fairly consistent and enjoyable. The cover artwork is really good. I would probably like this album twice as much if it were 100% instrumental. My final verdict would be a 3.5, but I can't bring myself to give it 4 stars. Fans of Tech/Extreme should enjoy this.


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Omnivium" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German technical/progressive death metal act Obscura. The album was released in March 2011 by Relapse Records. "Omnivium" is probably one of the most hyped technical death metal releases this year. Obscura made quite the name for themselves with "Cosmogenesis (2009)" and therefore the expectations among fans of the technical/progressive part of the death metal genre have been very high for this release.

Obscura started out as a pretty standard death metal act on their debut album "Retribution (2006)". "Cosmogenesis" saw the band taking a technical and at times progressive approach to songwriting and playing. "Cosmogenesis" was generally very well received by critics and fans alike. With "Omnivium" it seems the band have found the right balance between death metal power/brutality, technical playing and progressive ideas. Think a mix of Morbid Angel, Necrophagist, Death and Cynic and you're just about there.

The playing is technical to the extreme. Very fast precision drumming, challenging tempo- and time signature changes, fretless bass playing, lightning fast guitar riffing and melodic soloing are some of the elements on the album. The vocals are predominantly growling but there are "clean" vocoder vocal parts in the music too. The tracks are generally very complex in structure and fans of the genre should find themselves entertained for hours before cracking the code to some of these tracks.

All in all "Omnivium" is probably most technical/progressive metal fan's wet dream come true. I have a few gripes with the album though. Obscura are very skilled musicians and composers, but they are hardly innovative. There's nothing on this album that haven't been done before by some of the band's sources of inspiration. Obscura skillfully mix those influences and make their own music out of it, but they don't invent the wheel. I guess I have a slight issue with that and also the fact that the production is a bit too polished and the growls are a bit tame and lack bite. But my issues aside, "Omnivium" is still a very high quality technical/progressive death metal album and it shows a positive development from "Cosmogenesis". A 4 star rating is deserved.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One album further in their career, one more leap ahead. Obscura have quickly evolved from a faceless Thrash metal band to a most entertaining modern Technical Thrash/Death unit. Under this brutal surface sit complex guitar patterns that have traded typical death/thrash-based riffing for multiple bars spanning melodic riffs that lend the music a complex progressive quality.

The songwriting is top notch and quite varied. The opening track may start as an old Metallica classic but it quickly evolves to a brutal Death Metal attack that gives way for a more relaxed Opethian prog metal passage with very enjoyable psychedelic clean vocals and just that bit of vocoder to make them sound even more out-worldly. A crazy speed-Death finale rounds it up. It's a scenario that reoccurs in different forms and variations on this album. New tricks and development appear regularly throughout, making it entertaining for most of its 59 minutes. I probably don't need to mention that I would enjoy it even more with 2 tracks less, for no better reason then having an attention span of 50 minutes.

It's not the most original or revealing bit of metal this year but simply very good album for fans of technical progressive thrash metal. It is certainly recommended above their other albums. An excellent release in its niche.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Obscura play the kind of tech-deth jive that's got my back. The band's influences are all over the metal map, and these guys are quite capable of mashing them all up into a fine blob of clay and sculpting their own designs with each track. There's even a bit of variance between tunes, and of course the band have dexterous skills to spare.

One of the main things that Obscura brings to the table that gives them an identity of their own is the ever busy fretless bass playing. Omnivium still waves that flag, but this time around the bass isn't so obsessively featured as on their prior effort Cosmogenesis. A slight letdown maybe, but there's still plenty of bass chops within to counter the guitar melodies.

Another thing I dig about Obscura is that they care about song structure, which some of these other similar groups don't seem to comprehend while writing finger exercises and calling them 'songs'. I can actually remember chunks of this band's work after the album finishes. Granted, it's not the kind of stuff I'll be singing in the shower or serenading my kids before bedtime, but at least these songs entertain on more than just a "wow, that part was really wicked" level.

Opening with what seems like an homage to Metallica's "Battery", Obscura plays around with velocity and quiet passages, adorning some of these tracks with spacey clean vocals that assist in bringing out the sci-fi atmosphere. Otherwise, vocally you have your mid- ranged growled delivery and the more guttural monster vocals trading off lyrics, mixed well within a tight concise production. There are certainly some ripping fast sections, but the album as a whole isn't some 'blast-athon', with tunes like "Ocean Gateways" showcasing a lumbering gait. Some could be put off by the production values emphasizing clarity over heaviness, but with this band and its running science fiction themes the mixing is beneficial and a much better option than muddying up stuff for the sake of a brutal sound, especially since I'm down with the interplay between the guitars and the bass, which would be lost in a heavy mix.

Is this album an improvement over the great Cosmogenesis? Not really since I find that album a little catchier, but Omnivium holds its own and pushes a couple of new ideas forward, and their proggier influences are starting to open up a little more. I'm curious to see what direction they'll go next, but so far they're on the right path.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Omnivium is the latest Obscura album since now, issued at same as previous one on Relapse records in 2011. Well what we have here is another worthy album from their catalogue but some how is less intresting then previous album for my ears. Of course the musicianship is excellent , tight and has some great parts but overall fail to impress me as Cosmogenesis, mainly because Cosmogenesis was catchier in arrangements and the music was like instant glue to the listner, was very diverse in song writting and most important the bass was much much in front then here on Omnivium. The album is technical of course, in some parts is little less progressive and less diverse and more brutal in passges and the bass is no more so present as on Cosmogeneis, definetly the cherry on the cake. Now, the music is ok, the musicianship is ok and solid, the music suffers in intresting arrangements as on Cosmogenesis. With all that the highlights are the opening track Septuagint, Ocean Gateways, the rest are only ok. So, definetly a good release from this respected german band, but this is not an improvement over Cosmogenesis and is not their best album, at least for my ears. 3 stars maybe 3.5 stars for some parts but far from the genious of previous album. Again excellent cover art , booklet and whole package as on Cosmogenesis.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#442891) | Posted by The Block | Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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