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2009 has not been a great year for metal. The new Suffocation is ok and there have been a few exciting releases(I have yet to check out the new Augury), but overall it hasn't exactly been a banner year for metal, except for this release.
I had never heard of Obscura until a few months ago. I checked out Cosmogenesis and was immediately blown away. These dudes have their shit together and have developed a sound that is, although not completely unique, a very fresh take on an oversaturated genre.
Technical death metal can get tedious when it concentrates more on the technical than the death metal, but here we have a band whose compositions are structured in a way that you can actually remember them after less than ten listens, and yet which retain the technical prowess and musical approach of the tech/death genre. This is in fact a very melodic album with bits that are not heavy at all. In today's death metal scene the sheer inclusion of melody can almost be deemed a progressive element since it so uncommon among modern death shredders. The fusion between beauty and brutality in this release is very interesting and I found it captivated me as much during my first listen as it has during my last.
Cosmogenesis is packed with polyphonies, great lead work and and incredible rythm section. Hannes Grossmann, the drum phenom and Jeroen Paul Thesseling weave in between the maelstrom of the guitars and create quite a soundscape that does more than just accompany. In many ways they lay the groundwork for Muenzer and Kummerer to do their thing. Tracks such as the opener and single "Anticosmic Overload" and "Universe Momentum" are choc-full of catchy yet thoughtful riffs and passages reminiscent of such great bands as Death, Cynic and Atheist. They groove, they grow and they can also pound you with blast beats.
Highlights include the two aforementioned tracks as well as the instrumental "Orbital Elements", "Choir of Spirits" with the robot vocals as well as my personal favorite "Incarnated" with the simple but beautiful melody which comes back in a harsh and clean passage. But these are mere favorites of this scribe. The entire album is well written and well arranged. Basically, these guys did their homework.
Modern metal has very few new bands as exciting as Obscura, so take advantage of it prog-death metalheads. A record like this one doesn't come out every day.