After a three year holiday, Obliteration are back to unleash their haunting death metal upon us. ‘Black Death Horizon’ carries all the hallmarks of traditional styled death metal with the odd flourish of frenzied thrash and a dash of Satan for good measure.
Opening up with ‘The Distant Sun’, Obliteration set out their stall. A long and slow lumbering intro descends into a soup of deliberate riffing and blood curdling roars. As the track warms up some crisp guitars start to stir in the background and before you know it the track has gone 0-60 in a flash. A thrash breakdown takes over before it all retires back to the slumber that started it all.
It’s a formula that Obliteration will regurgitate throughout ‘Black Death Horizon’ but it’s a formula that is pretty spot on. The alternation of velocity between snail-pace doom and lightning fast thrash solos can be jarring, but obliteration are not here to sing you to sleep.
The punishing riffs on tracks such as ‘Transient Passage’ are complimented by the slightly deranged death howl of Sindre Solem. The armour piercing guitars are the only thing that confirms that this wasn’t recorded on the same vintage equipment that Venom recorded ‘Black Metal’ on. There’s a very uncomplicated feel to the production. It’s not at all flat or tinny. It’s just uncluttered; the sound of four blokes playing their instruments with little else to distract from it. Well, maybe the odd flaming inverted cross but you can’t hear them!
‘Sepulchral Rites’ starts off with a rumbling bass-heavy riff that Lemmy plays at the start of half his songs. It demonstrates the proximity of extreme death metal and rock’n’roll on here perfectly. At first glance these guys have got ‘church burners’ written all over them, but despite their mandatory Scandinavian indecipherable band logo; they’re actually scary and damn catchy in equal measure.
‘Black Death Horizon’ shifts tempo at will and it’ll have you scared witless and banging your head simultaneously. It’s not too afraid to be traditional in approach but it’s hardly death-by-numbers. There’s plenty here to get excited about.