Obscura has lost drummer Hannes Grossmann and guitarist Christian Muenzner who decided to leave the German prog death metal band. The band will soon open auditions to new members. Also, due to the lineup changes, the recordings for the band's yet untitled fourth album have to be postponed until the end of 2014. Both drummer Hannes Grossmann and guitarist Christian Muenzner have solo projects and released albums this year. Do you think it will be a big blow for the band?

Muenzner explained his decision to leave: "My decision to step down from my position as the lead guitar player in Obscura after more than 6 years was not an easy one, but even though it may come unexpected for the majority of fans, it is something I have been contemplating for the last couple of years. There is no bad blood between me and any of the other members of the band. However, I just want to devote the biggest part of the time that I have to work on my own music and visions. Doing this, I just can't invest the bulk of my time into the band, because a band operating at the level of Obscura does not work as a an additional thing or even a 'hobby'. It demands a lot of time and availability, but I know that if my heart is not fully into the music anymore it is not true to myself, my bandmates or to the fans, and I have always believed that solely the fact that a band is successful or that people expect you to play a certain style of music are not enough of a reason to do it.

"A second crucial factor in my decision was that I am still dealing with a neurologic condition in my fretting hand called Focal Dystonia, which almost took the ability to play guitar away from me completely by late 2011/early 2012. Even though I regained most of my chops by now through re-training and Botox therapy, the condition is still there and I have to be very careful not to relapse and undo my progress by putting too much strain on my hand, which is why touring several months on an album cycle with material that brings me to the edge of my technical ability every night is not an option for me anymore in the near future. The slightest chance of recovery or at least further improvement have absolute priority for me in the coming years, as I want to be able to play guitar and release music for much longer. Thus I decided to focus mainly on my teaching career and on writing and recording my own music for now. I will remain very active and you will hear a lot of new music from me in the future.

"I still consider all past and present members in Obscura that I played with among my very best friends, and the album recordings and tours we did in the last 6 years are among the greatest memories of my life so far. The band took me all around the world several times and I got to meet thousands of great people and fans. I want to thank all of you for your support, even in the tough times when my condition was at its worst. I do not exclude the possibility of future collaborations with each of the other members and wish the band the best of luck for the future."

Grossmann speaks out: "Leaving the band was a difficult choice to make, but it was also a big relief. In the last two years it just became more and more obvious that the musical chemistry between band founder Steffen and me just wasn't right anymore. It's not a personal issue, it's a musical one. For the last two records I contributed a large amount of music, including most of the arrangement work. However this was causing problems, because the band was set up as a collective of songwriters, and so the new record should have been a collective work. In general I also prefer working with other people rather than just doing it on my own. However, my musical vision was going into the direction of songs like 'Aevum' or 'Septuagint', maybe in terms of complexity even further. Steffen's ideas are musically rather in the vein of the Comogenesis album. But I wanted to explore a way different side of Obscura. The catchy 'Anticosmic Overload'-side just doesn't really hook me emotionally. In the end it's hard to explain to an outsider, but our musical taste and vision for the band's future are just incompatible at this point. It even started to affect our personal relationship and I don't think that it's worth sacrificing our friendship for personal issues. That's why I decided to quit the band and record the songs I wrote with my new band Alkaloid."


Source: realmofobscura.com
Band profile: Obscura
 
Posted: 11.07.2014 by BloodTears



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Hex_Omega - 11.07.2014 at 20:20  
Thesseling left in 2011 and now these guys... Obscura is not the same band anymore.
JayMo4 - 11.07.2014 at 21:09  
I just hope everyone involved continues to release music. As long as they do that, I'm happy.
Sword_Chant - 11.07.2014 at 21:24  
This doesn't sound good news for the album... last two albums have been awesome. Lets hope their material doesn't suffer from the lineup change.
Enigma - 11.07.2014 at 22:09  
Tremendous bad news for the band. Grossman and Muenzner are very good musicians, it'll be extremely difficult to replace them. Anyway, i hope all the best for the band and the new album.
bugsterscrow - 11.07.2014 at 22:10  
This is make me shock .....
Kulu - 11.07.2014 at 23:06  
Ha, not a surprise really. Everybody is involved in other projects... Grossmann's solo album was simply a continuation of Omnivium.
Troy Killjoy - 12.07.2014 at 00:35  
I like how Muenzner went about this. Kept it professional, stuck to the facts about the effort needed and the effort he couldn't provide, and had only good things to say about the band.

Grossmann's statement came across as somewhat arrogant though.
Zaphod - 12.07.2014 at 04:29  
So, basically, Obscura is dead.
Christian leaving makes sense after reading his explanation.
If what Hannes says is true than Obscura will not go in the direction I was expecting/hoping them to go. I think Septuagint and Aevum are Obscura's two best songs, so hopefully Hannes gets some people together to go in that direction.
Both members (and Jeroen too) were crucial to the last two albums' sound, so this news kinda sucks.
Zaphod - 12.07.2014 at 04:45  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.07.2014 at 00:35

Grossmann's statement came across as somewhat arrogant though.

Why? If he's just not feeling the musical direction Steffen wants to take, then should he just stay?
Troy Killjoy - 12.07.2014 at 04:59  
Written by Zaphod on 12.07.2014 at 04:45
Why? If he's just not feeling the musical direction Steffen wants to take, then should he just stay?

Not at all. It just seemed to me like his entire message came across as "I do all the work and I'm tired of it and I'd rather write different stuff than the rest of the band so I'm just going to do my own thing instead" whereas Muenzner thanked the group, wished them well, and just generally sounded a lot more professional about his reasons for departing.

I'm not saying Grossmann's a bad person or anything, I just interpreted his statement more negatively I guess.
Zaphod - 12.07.2014 at 05:20  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 12.07.2014 at 04:59

Not at all. It just seemed to me like his entire message came across as "I do all the work and I'm tired of it and I'd rather write different stuff than the rest of the band so I'm just going to do my own thing instead" whereas Muenzner thanked the group, wished them well, and just generally sounded a lot more professional about his reasons for departing.

I'm not saying Grossmann's a bad person or anything, I just interpreted his statement more negatively I guess.

Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah, that part of his statement came across as arrogant. Then again, even Steffen said Hannes did most of the work on Omnivium. Christian was definitely more professional about it though.
psykometal - 12.07.2014 at 06:26  
At least he was honest. I always hate when musicians leave and just say it was due to "personal reasons". Fuck that, I want to know what the reasons were, I hate that vague response bullshit. I get that it's not really our business, but that doesn't mean I'm not still curious and want to know the exact reason(s). And if they are willing to tell us, then I'm happy to read/know it.
Deadmeat - 12.07.2014 at 09:41  
I am pretty sure that stefan kummerer can create something good in the next album(s) but i am not sure if he can reach (without muezner) the top notch quallity of the previous albums....
hadriel - 12.07.2014 at 16:22  
Pz Obscura.

Honestly, not all that upset as I'd rather have these guys making their own material as opposed to staying with a band where they're not putting their all into it anymore. Cosmogenesis and Omnivium is superb albums and I'd rather see them part and do their own things than release something half-assed as a band.
a MasT - 12.07.2014 at 22:06  
This is the worst.
bloodwrage - 13.07.2014 at 06:46  
Written by Deadmeat on 12.07.2014 at 09:41

I am pretty sure that stefan kummerer can create something good in the next album(s) but i am not sure if he can reach (without muezner) the top notch quallity of the previous albums....

While I certainly think that Muenzner is a great guitarist and composer, I think the harder part will be replacing Grossmann. There are only so many drummers that have the chops/experience that he has.
Deadmeat - 13.07.2014 at 08:57  
Written by bloodwrage on 13.07.2014 at 06:46

Written by Deadmeat on 12.07.2014 at 09:41

I am pretty sure that stefan kummerer can create something good in the next album(s) but i am not sure if he can reach (without muezner) the top notch quallity of the previous albums....

While I certainly think that Muenzner is a great guitarist and composer, I think the harder part will be replacing Grossmann. There are only so many drummers that have the chops/experience that he has.

i certainly agree with that only in song-arranging/writing terms tough as there are many drummers with great skills out there.
MikeVonDoom - 14.07.2014 at 12:34  
I don't think they'll survive for much longer...
Traezeus - 18.07.2014 at 20:15  
For me, this is great news. While I've always liked certain aspects of Obscura, there's always plenty of things keeping me from truly liking their music. After listening to a couple of Muenzner's solo albums, I realized that he was pretty much the only thing I enjoyed about their band. With that being said, I'm glad he's no longer tied down to a band that holds back his creativity.

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