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Review: Obtest - Is Kartos A Karta
Is Kartos A Karta

Label: Ledo Takas Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 43:29
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: December 14, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 4/5 (80%) (9 Votes)

Obtest's older material is described as Pagan Black Metal, so I was expecting some raw BM. But this sounds to me like a mix of a little Black Metal and a lot Heavy/Power Metal(!!!) I would have saved myself the surprise by looking at the promo sheet first (I usually wait until after I've heard the album a couple of times before reading those), where the album is described as "heathen war heavy metal". Clean vocals, too much double bass drums at times, and some guitar work that definitely borrow more from heavy/power metal than from Black Metal. Fear not, however, as this doesn't sound wimpy either, and definitely not watered down stuff à la Dimmu Borgir. The vocals alone are quite powerful and are sometimes literally in the driver's seat of the songs. The singer has a deep and powerful voice that I would describe as attention-whore-ish: You just can't ignore these vocals, which I should add are sung in the band's native language and that adds a little something to the sound. Bands from Eastern Europe often sing in their native language, but most of their exports are bands that use extreme vocals and you can't make up most of the lyrics anyway. When you can ignore the overbearing drums a little, there lies some very proficient guitar playing - a good dose of regular solos, when it's not downright aggressive, heavy riffage.

Definitely an interesting and unexpected sound. I wish they had toned down the bass drum a bit, but other than that there's nothing here that registers on the "annoying" scale. The pace of the album is pretty fast too, forget about little quiet atmospheric intros and the likes. Not something I'd put in a top 10, but a contender for one of the "surprises of the year".

More about Obtest...
Review: Gyvybės Medis (Tree of Life) (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
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