Easily one of the most awaited and anticipated albums of the year of 2011, Obscura’s third effort entitled ”Omnivium” is the landmark of their short career so far. The critical third album has managed to be the best they’ve done so far, surpassing even the colossal predecessor of it ”Cosmogenesis”, which was released two years ago. And it is something few of us could hope for, as the previous album was a big surprise to many people unfamiliar with the band from Munich, Germany. The first album ”Retribution” in 2006 seemed to only put the spark in the fire that would follow and would eventually burst out as a whole shine in the metal world. Surely we have to deal with the best band to appear the last five years in the whole scene. But how did we come to this point and what’s behind this magic?
Obscura is a band of perfectionists, no doubt about that. They are all amazing players who know what to play and how they will transmit it to their followers. Their music is not easy to listen, it takes a lot of time to be able to understand their musical vision. Ears must be open very wide and mind must be focuses in each instrument individually and also to the whole sum collectively. Once this happens, a new world is open before the middle fan, more capable this time to vizualise in front of his eyes the whole maelstrom of emotions this quartet creates. Add to all of these that the album is a concept based on Friedrich Schelling’s ”On Nature’s Connection To The Spirit World” book and there’s a good explanation why this album sound a lot not of this earth.
From the first acoustic part of ”Septuagint”, where you might even think of the mid ’80s Metallica, until the excellent closing of the album with ”Aevum”, the smile on anybody’s face is a very common reaction, as you will notice inside the personal touch of the band, plus some parts influenced by other metal giants. It is no shame that ”Vortex Omnivium” has a Dream Theater-esque part on it, the fans of Morbid Angel will cry with ”Ocean Gateways”, only to realize that their once great heroes could never write something like that in 2011. Great titles on the tracks put you more inside the whole concept, and the amazing cover helps you float in space with no breath assistance for about an hour (if we add the tremendous work on Cacophony’s cover ”Concerto as a bonus track for the deluxe edition).
The production is as clear as it must be, making each instrument rather comprehensive, despite their extreme technique (on the stand-out track ”A Transcendental Serenade you may lose every contact with reality or even feel a little idiot, these things simply can’t be put together but not only they did it, but also created one of the most nominal compositions of all times). The album flows like clear water for your throat, making your ears discover soundscapes nearly not accessible for a lot of years. The feeling that Chuck Schuldiner is smiling up in Heavens will emerge on you rapidly as tracks pass by, even on ”Velocity” which someone could find a special Meshuggah aura. But these other group references is what makes Obscura’s effort much more worth witnessing in its whole.
Needless to state we have to deal with an amazing rhythm section, with Jeroen Paul Thesseling being the best bass player on Earth at this moment of time, alongside Origin’s Mike Flores, Hannes Grossman’s evolution in his playing could make a lot of ”brutal” colleagues of him drop their jaws and stop comparing them to Necrophagist. As far as the two riffing machines are concerned, Christian Muenzner accompanies Steffen Kummerer’s rhythms with some great leads and you won’t find any single moment of boredom on the nine amazing tracks. Everything in ”Omnivium” has the word MORE compared to ”Cosmogenesis”. More brutal parts and vocals, more complex compositions, more room for experimentation, more duration, more to come in the band’s future, more fans to come by the side of the most talented band of Europe (and maybe the whole world) in the year of 2011. An absolute perfection, which will become even bigger in the future. The only reason not to put a 10/10 rating is only this. Until then, sink yourselves inside the ocean gateways of space with them. No salvation will come. But who needs any in such cases?
|Track List||Line UP|
02. Vortex Omnivium
03. Ocean Gateways
04. Euclidean Elements
05. Prismal Dawn
06. Celestial Spheres
08. Transcendental Serenade
10. Concerto (Cacophony cover) (Deluxe Edition Bonus Track)
|Steffen Kummerer – Vocals, Guitars
Christian Muenzner – Guitars
Jeroen Paul Thesseling – Bass
Hannes Grossman – Drums