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Obscenity - Retaliation

by Mhyr at 29 November 2016, 7:31 AM

OBSCENITY are a German brutal death metal band from lower Saxony, and being long runners in the scene all the way back in 1989, they have quite a catalogue to their name. The newest edition is “Retaliation,” their ninth full length album, released on Kolony records in May 2016. The first song on the album “Claustrophobic Hell” is a stomping Death Metal track with all the hallmarks you’d expect from something bearing the name…a mixture between plodding heavy riffs and fast paced tremolo sections with a good dose of blast beats thrown in, making a very heavy intro that sets the scene for the rest of the album. “Embracing the Plague” has a little more adventure in the slightly Thrash styled intro and melodic chorus section, including a few parts that, if not for the murky gutturals on top, would not sound out of place in a VEKTOR song. The song features very nice guitar work in the slightly progressive sounding guitar solo that, whilst rather good, does seem a little out of place in the transition back to the heavier sections towards the end.

“Whore Of Secret” Is another stalwartly brutal song, heavy and fast at just the right moments with some more variation in vocal style and composition, as well as having towards the end one of the best breakdown riffs on the album. The intro to “Abandon All Hope” falls into what seems to a Death metal cliché and begins with a sampled pop culture megalomaniac into very chunky chord runs that do seems a little generic. Though from there it takes off into incredibly visceral verse and very groovy rhythmic sections, the middle section is also something a little different, with more high screams and different styles of riffing but still well within the realm of what has come before.
Aside from some sections based on the dissonant chords of the intro giving a very slight black metal tinge to some of the riffs in “Ghastly Presence Haunting”, that and the next track “The Day Of Wrath” are both more and more of the same heavy chords and groovy riffs. By now listening through the album you have a very good idea of what is coming and what to expect from it later on, there’s a very cohesive sense to all of the songs, they all follow mostly the same ideas and very closely sit together in the space they occupy.

So there’s little surprise at “Deracination’s” use of panned guitars and heavily picked climbing motifs to break apart the sections of the song, or the pinch harmonic accented chugging riffs in “Innate Depravity.” That being said, it is nice to hear the bass come out a little more on this song with a few sections just tipping it to the front of the mix a little. The galloping rhythms on “Soul Eater” and the chordal breakdown before the climax stick it out as one of the more memorable and catchy moments on “Retaliation.” With the ending song “Ominious Devotion,OBSCENITY prove that they know what they can do and stick to it with a fairly solid foundation. Not to say what they do isn’t worthy of praise, it’s clear that they know their own brand of music and they can do it very well. “Retaliation” is ten tracks of full powered, in your face, Brutal death Metal, not without its more interesting moments either, the ambient acoustic outro to “Ominious Devotion” was very well composed and a nice touch, being one of my personal favorite parts of the album. Another of which being the overall production, there’s just the right balance of firm studio production on the guitars and drums to make it sound tight and abrupt, but also just enough air left so there’s a nice ‘wide’ feel and enough room to have all the density of the music without becoming too congested.

Overall, OBSCENITY clearly know what they’re doing and who they’re doing it for. The sound on the album varies very little from the course it sets as it pounds through track after track but there is still enough variation in the tracks that they are each their own autonomous songs. Whilst not being the most innovative or technical band out there, if you’re looking for some no nonsense brutal Death Metal to bolster your collection I think it would be able to fulfil that role rather well.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Claustrophobic Hell
2. Embracing the Plague
3. Whore of Secret
4. Abandon All Hope
5. Ghastly Presence Haunting
6. The Day of Wrath
7. Deracination
8. Innate Depravity
9. Soul Eater
10. Ominous Determination
Manuel Siewert – Vocals
Christoph Weerts – Guitars
Hendrik Bruns – Guitars
David Speckmann – Bass
Sascha Knust – Drums
Record Label: Kolony Records


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