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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obscura - Omnivium review

Year : 2011
Genre : Technical Death Metal
Label : Relapse Records
Origin : Germany
Rating : 9.2 / 10

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German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling contributed an immense body of work to bath a curious mind in, while it comes as a rather interesting development if and when his lamentations regarding nature and spirit serve as a primal inspirational source to frame a musical declaration around.

It is nothing less than the rigorous, yet playful establishment of fractal level musical complexity what German death (?) metal formation Obscura has gotten itself into during the preceding years of the release of Omnivium, an output that has all the chance in the cosmic void and beyond to raise the bar for consecutive deliveries that dare to eye towards, or venture into musical fields characterized by radical intricacy happening for the mere sake of celebrating the ensuing audio pattern's capacity to exist and to entertain. This is nothing less than the celebration of life, the celebration of information.

A function, perhaps, one of the most important one of life, paradoxically is to find the ultimate function and related benefits of its mere existence, that which necessarily enriches its surroundings simply by observing it and making inner-directed, and even outward-directed notions of it. Regardless of the intention in the action, the fabric in which the action or thought takes place in, is suddenly enriched by the act or thought, and there is no real knowing on the human actor's part if his action or even thought made any kind of permanent and/or truly relevant impact in the mere space-time he operates in. One thing seems to be sure, though : as he acted or created a thought, information was born, and this constant birth, infinite birth and infinite rapid evolution of information seems to be an inescapable attribute of - well - inescapable information, that which shapes us and that which we constantly shape by our thoughts, actions and emotions.

To cite the classic :

shit lives forever,
shit lives forever
you can't kill it,
you can't kill it

- Faith No More

Before you would assume that this will be a philosophical stare into a random sonic abyss, let's conclude this introductory section to Obscura's Omnivium by abusing the quite safely abusable, noting that life indeed seems to be persistently mysterious and a phenomena worth investigating, - not that you have much of a choice right now, anyway - especially so when this investigation takes place through audible transmissions intentionally arranged into carefully engineered musical complexity that indeed flirts with any casual fractal chaoses that comes along its infinite ways.

Omnivium is a constant assault on your mere awareness of processing audible data, as the traditional elements of the genre bring with itself a muscular musical build formed out of riffs that have seen and got obsessed by and with a musical language that exhibits no particular desire to offer you a hook or two to safely grasp unto. Omnivium slides you around on its convolutely fragmented wall of sound fabric as it seems fit, and you find yourself to be the enjoyer of the experience, simply by attempting to decipher the massive amount of audible stimuli waging their valiant war on your receptors. Odd time signatures and free spirited melodic lines complimenting each other in the background are among the most frequent occurrences you will behold herein, and even the more easily approachable grooves have the tendency to playfully throw themselves and dissolve into the fractal chaos for a ride or two, thus their returning into a triumphant reassemblement will serve both as guide and a compass during the vortexes of sound storms you will be subjected to during the spin of the release.

Obscura speaks a carefully selected variety of musical moods on Omnivium, the pivotal elements being a fluent and free spirited neo-classical approach, primarily utilized to give you short breaks from the aforementioned fractal craze, that which serves as ever-present threat-constant during the experience, as you won't ever be sure when it is about to take you again for a stroll in itself. The moments it does take you by, are the moments that do draw the archetypical face of Omnivium.

A cunningly presented haunting feel also is incorporated into the mood palette, which wisely stays away from seeking cheap instant terror on you, and flirts instead with the mere mysterious, placing you into a tale full of secrets and unknown nearby potentialities, luckily showing zero interest in scares and negativistic tendencies. The end portion of the track "A Transcendental Serenade" is a great example for this feeling : it seems to be evident that the ensuing melody - that actually has a hook, it IS one big hook, in fact - tells about something that has a crushing relevance, but this relevance also seems to be one that reigns way beyond the intention of good old fashioned destruction for the mere sake of good old fashioned destruction. Of life. Of you. As long as you keep an open mind, the experience, the entity the music is about, will do no harm in you.

Omnivium's lyrics are preoccupied with intimate inner lamentations regarding consciousness and its surroundings, oftentimes arriving at interesting notions that seem to seek to exhibit poetic qualities. Obscura's delivery is one that manages to keep you fully interested and engaged during the 59 minutes ride it takes you on, and also one that flirts with musical vistas that are essential to investigate for the supreme purpose of entertainment, which seems to be a rather legit function of life on its own.

Rating : 9.2 / 10

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