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Obscura - A Valediction Award winner

A Valediction
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 15 November 2021, 12:35 PM

Technical Death Metal was born when bands as DEATH, NOCTURNUS, ATHEIST, PESTILENCE, EDGE OF SANITY and CYNIC showed that a technical insight with all Progressive/Classic Music elements could be brought into the genre without losing its natural aggressiveness and brutality. It’s just a matter of using what the musicians learned on their lessons, and it could be born in any moment (but it happened in the boiling cauldron of the Second Wave of the genre). And the German quartet OBSCURA comes to show that they really have space on the genre’s scene with “A Valediction”, their latest release.

They’re a mix of Progressive Death Metal with Technical Death Metal, and using some melodic elements that are usual for Gothenburg Death Metal acts. But in their hands, things become renewed and personal, and the balance between all these aspects with the brutality of the genre (it’s a Death Metal album, after all) is in an excellent level. So surrender yourself and enjoy the ride, because they’re really great! The band hired Fredrik Nordström for the mixing and mastering, so the sonority is superb, all sounding great and on its due places, with the right effects, defined and in a way that everyone can understand easily. And the artwork of Eliran Kantor for the cover is really amazing. Oh, there’s a guest on the album: Björn “Speed” Strid   (of SOILWORK, ACT OF DENIAL and THE NIGHTFLIGHT ORCHESTRA) made some vocals on “When Stars Collide”.

“Forsaken” is fast and catchy, and full of energy and very good technical arrangements (especially on the fretless bass guitar and rums), and the same can be said of “Solaris” (with very good vocals, using a very good set of screamed voices and snarls instead of the usual grunts of the genre); the excellent riffs and lead heard on “A Valediction” and “When Stars Collide” (this one has the clean vocals of Björn on melodic and melancholic parts, and excellent feature); the fine shreds on guitars heard on “The Beyond” along with very good melodies; the technical/Jazz approach used on “Orbital Elements II” (an instrumental song); and “In Adversity” great tempos are the best ones for s first time on their work. Yes, it’s really excellent!

As final words, all that’s left to say is that “A Valediction” seems to be a turning point in OBSCURA’s career. It’s that kind of album that make a band become one of the greatest names in their genre, so enjoy as you can!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Forsaken
2. Solaris
3. A Valediction
4. When Stars Collide
5. In Unity
6. Devoured Usurper
7. The Beyond
8. Orbital Elements II
9. The Neuromancer
10. In Adversity
11. Heritage
Steffen Kummerer - Vocals, Guitars
Christian Münzner - Guitars
Jeroen Paul Thesseling - Fretless Bass
David Diepold - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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