OBSCURA - A Celebration I: Live In North America

December 1, 2023, 3 months ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Greg Pratt

Rating: 7.5

review black death obscura

OBSCURA - A Celebration I: Live In North America

Not sure who really honestly needs a live Obscura album, but I guess, based on how much I enjoy it, I do. I've always loved Obscura—anyone who loves death metal loves Obscura, I think—and their sideways take on outer-space tech-death. 

Who's in the band at any given point, man, it's not even worth it, but here bassist Alex Weber (Malignancy, Defeated Sanity) throws his fretless, six-string wizardry all over these songs, injecting oldies like “Septuagint” with his personality, which is fun to hear (looks like Gabe Seeber of Divine Heresy, Abigail Williams and a zillion other bands plays on one song, “Emergent Evolution”, here too).

 It's all fun to hear, the band dipping into all their albums except 2006 debut Retribution, the material working together cohesively, although those moments of song shine through clearer in the newer material (there's three songs from last album, 2021's A Valediction, here; “Orbital Elements II” is practically feel-good trad metal with hooks). 

But we're not here for songs, we're here to get our minds melted by labyrinthine tech-death, and for those rare times when an Obscura studio album won't quite cut it, here's the band pulling off the material just as perfectly in a live setting, with a production that is maybe like 99 percent as perfect as the albums, this batch of super cyborgs shredding hard into the now, and into the future.

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