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Obsidian - Wake the Virus

Wake the Virus
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 27 October 2018, 8:28 AM

From Vancouver, British Columbia comes OBSIDIAN and their full length album, “Wake The Virus.”  I’m not familiar with their previous efforts but I really enjoyed this release.  Jason Campbell has a very unique growl that is caught somewhere between traditional death grows, Deathcore grunts, and hardcore shouting. Musically, they remind me a lot of another group of Canadians—KATAKLYSM.  That isn’t to say they are a copy cat—quite, the opposite since they don’t sound anything like them.  But they do have the same ability to play heavier than normal metal without it being overly brutal, combining it with catchy songs and some groovy riffs, courtesy of both Campbell and second guitarist Daniel Clark, Aurelia and Stefan round out the band with a more than capable rhythm section.  All in all, all four members of the band have a nice chemistry, tied together by both their ability to play their instruments and to write songs.

The opening track, “Til The End,” is a raucous, head splitting track with the beat pounded into the eardrums relentlessly with Stefan's frantic and crisp yet hard hitting snare attack.  The halfway point of the song with the melodic guitar over the heavy riffs is appropriately epic, accented by the light but clever use of clean background vocals and keys. The title track is a highlight, specifically the fast Death Metal riffs and the sudden increase in speed with the drums when Jason's growls turn into screams.  The playing transitions pretty well back into the faster riffs but the overall feel of the song is definitely from a Black Metal influence, proving OBSIDIAN are more than just a straight up Death Metal band.  The melodic half of the song furthers shows this, riffs dripped in Gothic melancholy.  The chunk rhythm riffs work perfectly with the song’s emotional guitar solo, the guitar players a perfect duo.

Tides Have Turned,” is a brutal track, due in no small part to the overlapping of Death growls and the almost Djent style of the riffs.  2:35 to 3:36 is a strong bridge of musical interplay that showcases the instrumental prowess of the band, making it obvious they can play any style they choose and excel at it. One of the highlights is the eight track, “Face In The Sand.”  The tempo is turned way down for this but the band retains their tight heaviness, bulldozing you down instead of merely running straight through.  The chorus is surprisingly catchy and makes a showcase for heavier bands to make songs that get stuck in your head without compromising any darkness or quality. Ultimately, I found this album to be very enjoyable.  It isn’t anything ground breaking but that doesn’t change the fact it is extremely solid from start to finish, with no filler to speak of.  The band feels like they are about to burst open and really expand their sound and hopefully in a future release this happens.   For those who are wanting to explore the more extreme side of Metal but don’t want to jump head first, this album, and band, would be a great starting point.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Til the End
2. Eat You Alive
3. Wake the Virus
4. Cognitive Dissonance
5. Darken the Day
6. Tides Have Turned
7. The Judas Goat
8. Face in the Sun
9. Black Winds of Disarray
10. Fade Into Nothing
Jason Campbell - Vocals & Guitar
Daniel Clark - Guitar & Back Up Vocals
Aurélia Falaize - Bass
Stefan Stass - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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