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This is, in my opinion, AoA's finest release to date. So, what have we here? First of all, you can leave behind any hope for brutal "progressive" breaks that we encountered while listening to the brilliant "The List".
This is really, really brutal. In "Obey", AoA's sound is clearly close to Revenge's (the band where session AoA member James Read smashes the drumkit), but with ten times the inspiration and without the continuous relentless (uninspired?) blasting. One could say that "Obey" is the band's most mature sound, lyrically and musically.
The concept behind this release is a bleak, nightmarish future where the human race is totally enslaved to an all-seeing eye which cruelly exploits them and uses them only for production. Leaving aside the metaphorical aspect of this story, I would say that the music perfectly suites the lyrics.
Again, we have this obvious brutality of fast machinegun drumming, wall-of-sound guitarwork and both hi-pitched and growling vocals. But do not be mistaken; this is definitely NOT another ultra-violent release. This is special. AoA do not hesitate to add mid-tempo parts in their furious songs, and that separates the band from others that exist solely to pound the drums in unthinkable (computerized most of the times) speed.
You may need to listen to it several times in order to fully comprehend it, but you won't regret it, especially if you are in need of something both brutal and intelligent. From the overwhelming "Of one to conflict it" to the stupendous "Wrath Pounding", "Obey" gives you The only reason why the rating isn't 100%, is that I strongly believe that Axis of Advance definitely have the potential to release an even greater album.