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Obscure Burial - Epiphany

Obscure Burial
by Daniel Fox at 22 September 2014, 10:19 PM

Compared to Scandinavia and the States, Finland could arguably be said to contain band's that put the 'under' in Black Metal's underground, extremely rich in a myriad of bleak, sterile bands, the latter not nearly implied in a critical sense. OBSCURE BURIAL are one such incarnation; a relatively new act, but making some truly old-sounding Blackened-Death Metal; nay, think not BEHEMOTH or BELPHEGOR; these Finns are in a musical realm of their own.

Although a lot of Black Metal sounds endearingly like a demo recording, "Epiphany" literally is just that; it's a special kind of refreshing to hear new bands, release truly 'old-sounding' material, unabated and staying true to the way things were done, back in that golden (black?) age of the early 90's. "Night Queen" will certainly evoke a sound that is bigger and richer than a typical, three-chord Blackened onslaught, but brings out the battery with grandiose and technical drumwork, and riff-work that is not constricted to endless tremolo picking. The arrangement is surprisingly mature, and goes through a range of rampant, dogged movements, with riffs that have a razor-sharp edge about them.  "Dweller In The Abyss" is equal parts rough and crushing, with a jarringly-strong bass presence that leaks out of the mix, contributing significantly to the demo's heaviness. This track is quite over-the-place and seemingly directionless; the riff-work is tight and precise, considering the sound-quality, with what feels like random alternations in pace of attack. If it wasn't obvious before, the vocals are a sheer oddity, most of the times modified by an aggressive and persistent echo effect. Quite frankly, I haven't heard anything like it, and I must commend them on what might seem like a modest innovation.

"Daemonic Incantation" is set at a different pace, and is a whole new kind of frantic; more sped-up aggression in places, and a heavier, controlled march in others. There also seems to be a greater emphasis on melody, all the bit eerie; in some cases, one might hear strong, Thrashy influences creeping through. "Ephiphany", by far doing away with monotonous and safe musical trends common to the greater scope of the genre, ends with the title track that could easily have come from different minds. Taking a totally different approach, there is a greater emphasis on groove and drudging heaviness, permeated by frantic outbursts of blast-beats and blistering riffs. A final, wild scream and guitar solo ends the track on an 'epiphany', which eventually spirals out into nothingness.

Look, the production quality is far from studio-quality and, for the most part, sounds plain awful. But let's be realistic, isn't that exactly what demos sound like, and is that not why we love listening to them? Luckily, the band clearly has the musical chops to pull it off and grow into fully-fledged Black metal innovators.

4 Star Rating

1. Night Queen
2. Dweller In The AByss
3. Daemonic Incantation
4. Epiphany
L.K. - Vocals, Guitars
M.H. - Guitars
M.F. - Bass, Vocals
K.S. - Drums
Record Label: Invictus Productions


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