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Obscurity - Vintar Award winner

by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 19 November 2014, 10:16 PM

Hailing from Velbert, Germany, OBSCURITY has once again proven that they can plunder and pillage listeners' ears like Vikings as well as their Scandinavian Metal counterparts. "Vintar" is a fantastic release covering multiple genres of Metal, from Black, to Melodic Death, to Viking with even a hint of Folk Metal. Invoking the frigid temperatures of the cold season of the North, this album keeps you in its icy grasp from start to finish.

First off, I have to say that the production and recording on this album are top-notch. The music is crystal clear, even when there is a lot of distortion with the guitar effects and vocals, which is most of the album really. To touch on the Black Metal parts of this album, the genre is generally known for its raw sound, but though I'm not personally a fan of many bands in the genre, I have to applaud the attention to detail present during the phases of Black Metal on this album.

Carrying the torch of bands like UNLEASHED, AMON AMARTH, ENSIFERUM, and CARACH ANGREN, the satisfying blend of styles present on "Vintar" are very heavy. The vocals–sometimes high and low growls coinciding–send a very aggressive message without relinquishing the style of music they're associated with. I have to give the low growls an A+ for being in the same ballpark as the mighty Johan Hegg, particularly on the seventh track, "Dominium".

This is such an outstanding album to me because of the quality and skill level of songwriting and execution. There are some steady, slower parts (traditional in the realms of Melodic Death or Viking Metal) mixed with the fast-paced and unabated rage of the Black Metal parts, but the mixing of styles never compromises the in-your-face approach that OBSCURITY have perfected. Not-so common are the Folk rhythms (heard in the ninth track, "Niedergang"), but even the almost-dance-inducing parts do not detract from the overall tone and tempo of "Vintar".

So as your hands and feet numb up and the icicles begin to encrust your eyelids, you can rest assured that "Vintar" has taken you into the realm of sub-freezing days and the absolute bitter cold that consumes the lives of the unprepared at night. Worthy of high praise, this album suits my collection nicely and even fans who have never heard of its creators before will be won over by the excellent level of Metal Mastery present through the album. That leaves just one question: Are you cold yet?

4 Star Rating

1. Schicksal der Goetter
2. Naglfar
3. Nebelwelt
4. Wodanheim
5. Alter Feind
6. Vintar
7. Dominium
8. Alte Zeichen
9. Sieg oder Niedergang
10. Feld der Ehre
11. Legions Montium
Agalaz - Vox
Cortez - Guitars
Dornaz - Guitars
Ziu - Bass
Arganar - Drums
Record Label: Trollzorn Records


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