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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Review: Obscura – A Valediction

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Date: November 19th

And now on my music trip I’ll move (and you who used to read what I write do the same thing) from Poland to the country which is its western neighbor land. To be more precise, because Germany isn’t too small we’ll go to the capital and at the same time the most populous city of Bavaria – Munich. This city, at least for me and since I’ve been underground for more then twenty years, is connected with other things than the metal scene. But it doesn’t of course mean this does not exist at all. Well, if there were no active metalheads in the city where more then one and half million people live, it’d be some oddity in my opinion! Anyways, just there year 2002 four guys created Obscura. I guess most of you know this band, at least by hearsay, so I don’t think speaking about other facts from its history is something I should do at the moment.

I’m so sure about what I wrote in the last sentence because “A Valediction” is guys’ sixth full-length and besides their label is very well-known to all metalheads around the world- at least I can’t even imagine another situation. So let’s directly and without unnecessary procrastination talk about music itself. And let’s say it loudly as the very first thing that guys’ creativity isn’t for everyone. Our Bavarian friends call what they play Progressive/Technical death metal. And in this case the term is accurate and tells very well what you should expect and what you’re getting.

This is first of all of guitars’ work which makes the music. Actually I should write “lines” because they’re quite often others. It doesn’t mean we have some cacophony to do here, of course! It’s even contrary and even if Steffen’s and Christians plays follow sometimes a little different lines, together it creates consistent wholeness. Actually one of them is responsible, I think it changes from song to song, but for several technique tricks.They don’t take place the whole time and absolutely aren’t art for art’s sake. Maybe this is a question of the fact I listen to this stuff twenty forth time, but in my opinion they happen in right moments and in my opinion they happen exactly in right places and, what is very important, don’t destroy what in our beloved music is the point. It’s surely also about the fact that the second guitarist is at the same time playing strict Metal riffs. So we all the time know what music we’re listening to.s I noticed this is not some piece of cake to do it like that. I mean, some ensembles play technically, but it occurs brutality, aggression and so on are lost. By the way, other instruments follow variable lines what means of course also changes of tempo. Generally that’s the middle one, but speeder or slower parts aren’t something rare. Vocalizations are the domain of the only original member of Obscura – Steffen. And you probably already know or at least guessed the variations are also about it, We have on “A Valediction” all from growling to clean vocals. Of course these first are in the huge advantage! But they’re still not in the same style, even if they dominate one of them.

Which one?!? Well, just check it out! I can’t describe everything because, I am afraid, some of you will think like “OK, I know what this stuff is about and don’t need to listen to it anymore”. I know, we metalheads are different then fans of other music genres, but anyway… All what you need to know is that all those piquancy make Obscura’s creativity quite difficult in audience, I guess. It’s something that I like (but only as long as it doesn’t kill what I first of all expect from metal band), but at the same time I know it’s not everyone’s cup of beer of everyone. Anyways, as you can see the sixth full-length of Obscura definitely isn’t something obscure, as well as all their releases, and to these who share my opinion this is stuff they just must buy. Actually I’m somehow sure that fans of this kind of death metal know very well Obscura and if they had some doubts or even anxiety if they should grab this stuff then hopefully this review will dash them at all!