Obscura : Omnivium

They Say :- OBSCURA’s highly-anticipated new album Omnivium sees the critically-acclaimed quartet cementing their place amongst the all-time metal-elite. Omnivium finds the band pushing the progressive edges of the genre’s sounds to new heights while delivering the technical metal that has become their calling card. The band gracefully blends brutality and beauty with complex, commanding songs played at stunningly virtuosic levels. Tracks such as album opener “Septuagint”, “Vortex Omnivium”, “Euclidean Elements” and “Celestial Spheres” are expressive and elaborate, and exude class and the confidence of a band at the peak of their abilities. Ominivum very clearly raises the bar for extreme, technical metal and is OBSCURA’s finest moment to date.

We Say :- Beauty and the Beast. Historically destined to never be accepted as a viable couple by the world at large. The same could be said of the technical / progressive death metal genre and its quest to marry together some of the most sonically punishing music with elements of style and grace. Well for those that believe that fairytales can come true, you’ll want to check out Omnivium – album number 3 from German geniuses Obscura for a genre redefining creation.

Septuagint quickly puts to rest any doubts as to their credentials.  It’s subtly acoustic strains are soon smashed by a crescendo building wall of melody before giving way to a hellish scream and cacophony of pace and precision which cannot fail to kick start the adrenaline. 7 minutes of sprawling variety follow featuring everything but the kitchen sink. Yet not a morsel of repetition is to be found. Every track  comes brimming with an abundance of creativity, and frankly mind boggling composition to keep the ears burning. Featuring some of the most crisp and balanced production every heard, the result is a refreshing clarity to an all too often a one-dimensional, muddled racket of a genre. Guitars are razor sharp, bass lines cut through with purpose and you’ve never heard a snare drum with so much punch and pop like this before.

Aside from marvelling at their meticulous levels of technical skill,  Obscura’s true strength is in steering this wave of virtuosity into building interesting songs.  Prismal Dawn and Celestial Spheres arguably being the pinnacle with strong melodic riches bolstered by infectious, rhythmic material of the highest caliber. Ocean Gateways’ stampeding double bass under-belly ends with a riff so monstrously heavy it feels like a truck has parked on your chest. Despite their almost schizophrenic arrangements A Transcendental Serenade and Aevum  both maintain a clear sense of purpose. Only Concerto threatens to step too far into the realms of overindulgence.

Metallica’s …And Justice For All album and its famously one-sided drum and guitar centered mix was born out of Hetfield and Ulrich’s refusal to relinquish control in favour of overall sound and balance. No such bias exists here as each element of the musical arsenal shares the spotlight with equal measure. Interplay between bass driven melodies, god-like guitar playing, jaw dropping drum work and the varied vocal patterns that drive the songs forward moulds an infinitely more vibrant and absorbing journey that continues to reveal something new on every subsequent spin.

In a word, stunning.