Obscura - Cosmogenesis review
|Release date:||February 2009|
01. Anticosmic Overload
02. Choir Of Spirits
03. Universe Momentum
05. Orbital Elements
06. Desolate Spheres
07. Infinite Rotation
10. Centric Flow
Got the cd in my hands and the bandname tips its hat to a classic Gorguts album, the logo is reminiscent of the classic Obituary logo and the cover art is futuristic depicting something cosmological. Conclusion: This must be a technical death metal band. And, lo and behold, it is. What band and album am I talking about? Obscura's sophomore album Cosmogenesis, of course.
First off, it is almost impossible to compare Cosmogenesis to the band's debut Retribution because only guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer is stilll present in the current line-up. But just looking at the line-up that recorded Cosmogenesis will be enough to make your average tech death metal drool. Because what have we here? Christian Muenzer on guitars and Hannes Grossmann on drums, both ex-Necrophagist and, damn, are my eyes deceiving me? Nope, they aren't. Cosmogenesis sees the return of fretless bass master Jeroen Paul Thesseling to the realms of metal. How have I missed that man's bass playing ever since he starred on Pestilence's Spheres
Such a line-up can, of course, turn out utterly brilliant or a complete failure. For me a failure would be an album sounding like Necrophagist's technical death metal wankery for showing-off sake where the focus on proper song-writing has been totally lost. But thank God they have been merciful on me, cause one thing Cosmogenesis does feature is proper songs that consist of a head and a tail.
Proceedings do start off with, what can be regarded as, the weakest song of the album. "Anticosmic Overload" is a quite generic death metal tune which is full of shredding and is only lifted above average by JPT's incredible fretless bass playing. His bass playing, is without a doubt, the highlight of the album. DiGiorgio, Webster et. al. move over for the one and only true master of death metal bass. Jeroen utilises his bass in most cases as a solo instrument and not just as a rhythmic device. The production really does accentuate that as well placing it nice and prominently in the mix.
Come track number two "Choir Of Spirits" Obscura starts to show more of an own identity although it keeps on reminding me of Cynic's "Veil Of Maya". But that must certainly be due to the use of a vocoder here. And checking the liner notes it shows that Tymon Kruidenier of Cynic is featured on this song. Being a young (except Jeoren that is) band some influences are bound to shine through. As is also the case with "Incarnated" which comes across as a tribute to later era Death.
Apart from Tymon guesting on this album we also see Ron Jarzombek of Spastic Ink fame guest. His guitar skills can be admired in the title track "Cosmosgenesis".
Cosmogenesis is over before the listener notices it. That is a major strength of the album cause it makes you play it again immediately upon termination. Ten songs in all and all short enough to keep you focused. And a total sigh of relief on my part for it not containing any pointless showing off and wankery. Every single instrument plays in service of the song proper.
In conclusion one can say this is one mighty impressive album which any self-respecting fan of technical death metal should get, or at least give a fair try. But beware... if you prefer instrumental wankery where all sight of a proper song is lost such as Necrophagist lets loose upon the world then Cosmogenesis is most probably lost on you.
The strong point of Cosmogenesis are its songs which flow naturally and have a cool groove to them. And the major highlight of the album is totally Jeroen's incredible bass playing. A minor setback, to this otherwise wonderful album, is that it clearly showcases the band's influences thus taking away from its originality. But I am sure that come next album the influences will have diminished almost totally.
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