The man of the million riffs, Steffen Kummerer, returns with his Progressive/Technical Death Metal outfit Obscura, and delivers one of the most brilliant and aggressive releases in the last few years. “Omnivium” is a great improvement over the already brilliant album “Cosmogenesis”.
With a more focused sound, the band delivers 9 tracks of pure technical brilliance paired with solid Death Metal structures. The songs in “Omnivium” feel a bit more straightforward and do not rely (solely) on virtuosity to be well appealing to the listener. However, this does not mean that you won’t get to listen to Steffen and Christian Muenzner rip through crazy guitar sections or Jeroen Paul Thesseling ‘pounding’ his 6 string fretless bass guitar like a magician.
Wasting no time, “Septuagint” blows delivers a crushing blow of growls and blistering drums. These elements are complemented by guitar wizardry parts and a very tight bass guitar line. The full-on aggression of this release comes immediately with the second song “Vortex Omnivium”. Here we get all elements working together seamlessly and for the first few listens, you will not know on what to focus. You have the guitars crafting catchy riffs and elaborate solos, the bass guitar creating an intoxicating rhythm, and the drumming providing a nice but elaborate backdrop to things.
With “Ocean Gateways”, the band delivers a very effective and not-so-flashy Death Metal song. Here we get to listen to Steffen’s growls on a very traditional Death Metal structured song. This might be the ‘slowest’ and less technical song of the album, but has a very catchy tune to it. Returning to the crazy guitar work and elaborate bass guitar sections we have “Euclidean Elements” and “Prismal Dawn”. In the later, the band shows a more melodic side of things and this track is our favorite of the album, since it brilliantly introduces a more ‘melodic’ approach to things.
The experimentation of “Velocity” makes this song an interesting listen to fans of Progressive music, and allows the flow of the album to switch a bit. This song kind of slows things down for the closing tracks “A Transcendental Serenade” and “Aevum”, both very powerful tracks.
In general, we feel that Obscura has delivered a more polished album than “Cosmogenesis”. With “Omnivium”, the band sounds more mature and when this is paired with their technical proficiency, they are unstoppable. There is no need to be ridiculously technical and fast in all songs, and the band clearly shows this in this very effective release.
|Band: Obscura||Album: Omnivium|
|Label: Relapse Records||
Release: March 29th, 2011
|Genre: Progressive/Technical Death Metal||