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Obsession - Scarred for Life (Reissue)

Scarred for Life (Reissue)
by Jon Conant at 15 February 2018, 7:35 AM

It’s 2018, and Connecticut based power metallers OBSESSION have decided it’s time to re-release old material from the 1980s in lieu of a new album, their most recent being a full length release in 2012, “Order of Chaos”. Interesting choice fellas, so be it. I imagine it has something to do with them celebrating the history of the band, but it’s still just history. That being said, what I believe is slightly re-mastered history. So that's kinda cool.

The second of these albums being released (the first being 1983 EP “Marshall Madness”) is “Scarred for Life,” originally released in 1986. For what it was at the time, it was really pretty solid. Classic power metal with bold new soundscape concepts, fun layer and distortion of vocal parts, and of course that bold chugging guitar that would have been pioneering stuff back in the day. Of course it is worth mentioning that currently, two members of OBSESSION have been in the band since 2004 when they reformed from their 1989 split, 2 since 2014, and only singer Michael Vescera remains from the original crew. So speaking to the musicianship that is present in these two albums, in a lot of ways does not speak to the band as it is today.

But, it’s a solid piece. Vescera’s incredibly powerful and accurately performed lead vocals are nothing short of impressive, and they define the band’s sound. The music does unfortunately often fall into monotony and formula, but it’s not without its high points. Opener and title track “Scarred for Life” starts things off on a strong footing with “classic” power metal riffs and impresses with early guitar solos.

Track 4 “In The End” has a chugging anthem feel and is very catchy, it’s a solid middle anchor of the album. Track 5 “Bang ‘Em Till They Bleed” takes us off on a pulsating speed/thrash metal sound.

All all in, this album is a relic. I feel pretty cynical about it being re-released in 2017. But I’ll give credit where credit is due, back in 1986 I would have been all over it. There are two bonus tracks, but they are written, performed, and recorded worse than the other 9 tracks. With the lone exception of Viscera, who is great as always.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Intro / Scarred for Life
2. Winner Takes All
3. Losing My Mind
4. In the End
5. Bang 'Em till They Bleed
6. My Lai 31568 / Take No Prisoners
7. Taking Your Chances
8. Run into the Night
9. Tomorrow Hides No Lies
Michael Vescera - Vocals
John Bruno - Guitars
Scott Boland - Guitars
Jeff Curtiss - Bass
Yanni Sofianos - Drums
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings


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Edited 25 September 2020

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