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Viscera - Obsidian Award winner

Viscera
Obsidian
by Quinten Serna at 06 March 2020, 11:38 AM

A growing intensity absent in thought and explicit in cathartic detail, the aim of music - at least by some endeavors - is to describe in explication and accuracy the pathos and interior thoughts of the composers and performers, and by unrelenting force and inexhaustible energy, VISCERA, does exactly that through their now debut release, “Obsidian”, a hastened follow up to their October 2019 single “Lamb To The Slaughter”.

The album commences with “Delilah” which opens up through the burgeoning neoclassical progressions of a piano paired with a crescendoing overdriven guitar and some synth samples with the drums signaling the changes - the actually progression of the song is built upon repeated guitar motifs over rhythm and dynamic drums, the tacet portions focus on the vocals giving a brief respite before the full band joins in once again. A song of hate filled orchestration, “Immersed In Ire” begins immediately after a court strike from the snare changing to a hardcore progression for the verse with some juxtaposing melodies for the pre-chorus and chorus. “Carpe Noctem” (a parody of the traditional “Seize The Day”) begins with some chorus chanting not dissimilar to chamber music before the actual instrumental breakthrough in carefully constructed rhythms, the chorus repeats the opening vocal melody albeit much heavier. “Hammer And Nails” commences with an odd and light-hearted instrumentation shared by piano, synth, and atmosphere segueing the band’s introduction but also foreshadowing the instrumentation repeated motif later within the song. The title track “Obsidian” covers a large amount of ground within the band’s dynamic incorporating crushing and harmonic vocals over a slew of different rhythmic elements coupled with a full on “reset” of the song for the outro.

The piece as a whole is a very well-thought-out and recorded album highlighting the strength of each instrument whilst never straying from a centralized big-band ideologyno song is built around a riff because the guitars only comprises of one piece of the greater composition. The vocals are powerful and haunting feeling as if they truly are scraping away at the walls of the album; the guitars powerful and discrete managing themselves separate parts that adjoin to foster one central idea, a complete melding of both instruments that create the songs’ driving force; the drums are brutal, relentless, and perfectly time offering no sense of misstep or alteration in their tight delivery; the bass is powerful in parts but indistinguishable at times which hurts the overall soundscape of the album becoming lost somewhere between the kick and the low and of the guitars.

One other artifact I would like to mention before summation is the peculiarity of the album cover which is something that I’ve been focused on attempting understanding for near the duration of the album; such that I’m uncertain if the swirling mass above the shawl clad sorceress is a representation of Dante’s Tornado Of Souls, the idea of an Ophanim, or of some other vision entirely.

The debut of VISCERA is not an item to go unnoticed having about itself an odd and surreal construction and atmosphere housing the intensity of the band within and whilst the machinations of Deathcore appeal to few people it might do well to turn the heads of some skeptics to the genre; the overall soundscape is almost perfect but the construction of the songs is sublime.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Delilah
2. Immersed In Ire
3. Lamb To The Slaughter
4. Carpe Noctern
5. Affliction
6. Hammers And Nails
7. Lilith
8. Obsidian
9. Silentium
Lineup:
David Archer - Bass, Synth
Alex Micklewright - Drums
Adam Bell - Guitars, Synth
Ross “Lenny” McLennan - Guitars
Jamie Graham - Vocals
Michael Leo Valeri - Synths
Record Label: Unique Leader Records
     


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