|Review: Obscura - Omnivium|
Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: April 16, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Rated 3.69/5 (73.75%) (16 Votes)
Technical progressive death metal musicians Obscura return with perhaps their most ambitious effort to date with Omnivium. The album opens with a very impressive intro from the track "Septuagint" that certainly catches the listener's interest from the start. There is a decidedly different approach here than there was on Cosmogenesis. The songs are more open-ended and have a considerably increased technical flair to even that album.
While this undeniably makes them interesting at some points, the construction of the songs seems slightly over-ambitious at junctures as well. This can be seen from the opener alone, which has nice changes of pace and acoustic sections thrown in, but at the same time is perhaps overly complex. It's still definitely one of the highlight tracks to be found here, however. There are moments when Obscura seem like they're on to something throughout the release, but then they lapse into a section that drags and lose memorability. Make no mistake, there are some bands that suffer from technical over-indulgence more than Obscura, but that's definitely an issue with the album. Other small issues I have with Omnivium are the average vocals and how the band sounds almost too similar to other classic death metal acts at times. Take "Ocean Gateways", for example, which sounds overly alike to Morbid Angel. That's not to say there aren't some splendid moments to be found, however, because there are a lot of subtle details to absorb.
Obscura continually strive to be in the upper tier of death metal, but only approach ever being there, particularly on this album. It's a very good album that never quite reaches the heights it wishes to strive towards. Similar bands like Death, Atheist and Cynic still have superior albums and Cosmogenesis is still probably the closest the band has approached to attaining their best. Omnivium is regardless a great album that will please fans of technical death metal. Don't necessarily expect it to be the masterpiece some have laid it out to be, however. I remain confident Obscura will reach the next level in the future if they continue to hone their songwriting skills and try to write songs that push the envelope, but yet have a greater ability to coalesce and stick with you long after listening to them.
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