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Un-fucking-believable. In the midst of Necrophagist worshiping, brain drilling technical death metal, Obscura comes plowing through with expression, technicality, and emotion that I have never heard from a band before. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this album fellated my mind; even now I have to bring an extra pair of pants with me wherever I go in case one of my buddies plays Headworm. As a compilation, I have to say that this is flawless. It starts off with ... And All Will Come to an End, which is a short instrumental score with melodic tremolo picking and obvious black metal influence, which is a fitting start, as it then kicks into gear with Crucified. It also has a black metal feel to it, with generous helpings of blast beats and a couple of extra heavy passages.
Fear starts off with a Death inspired, groovy kind of beat which then catapults into some thrashy double bass and impressive guitar work. The riffing is fast and panicky, which is sure to induce headbanging in the most stoic and grim of metalheads. It's good all around death metal, save for the clicky triggered sound of the bass drums. It's not that big of a deal, though, it still kicks ass.
Immanent Disaster is one of my preferred songs with the album, with some great mid paced chugging riffs intermittent with thrash influences and some great grouped notes on the bass drums. A perfect blend of groove and nervous sounding riffs. But then... In the middle of the song, the bassist drops a beautiful line, which is followed by what I believe to be a violin or a cello. After that section, the guitar picks up the same riff and the drums kick in the blast beats to complete the picture with combined beauty and utter brutality.
Currently, Incarnated is the only Obscura song I've learned in guitar, and let me tell ya, it's hard to appreciate the musicianship of these guys if you haven't played (or attempted to play) their music. Their hands are ridiculously flexible and I often found my fingers splayed across the fretboard like a tap dancing spider.
Strangely, this is one of their simpler songs, with less riffs than they normally have in their songs. That's not a bad thing; I actually like being able to hear a more simplistic Obscura from time to time. The lead guitar passage is quite beautiful with the bass, I daresay, and also compliments the song very well. Needless to say, the solo near the end is definitely not simple, and makes me want to give up playing. But still, it sounds fucking great.
Open the Gates is interesting. It's one of the songs that I tend to pass over sometimes, but it's grown on me lately. It seems to take a more crushing angle on their brutality, primarily using blast beats to drive the point home along with psychotic trash passages and riffs that follow in the insanity. There's even a hint of Death in there with a cool jazzy section or two.
The volume is going up for Headworm. It's pulverizing, groovy, dissonant, guttural death metal and I fucking love it. I'm purely astonished by the vocals on this song, which brings to light the vocalist's range. It's impressive, to say the least, and I'm honestly having a hard time finding words to even describe this song. It's just... Incredible and it has to be heard.
I don't think I need to go into very much detail about the covers, but I will say that Obscura surpassed the original artists, in my opinion. Especially with Flesh and the Power it Holds, which they absolutely annihilated. I'd pay to see them play covers live, and I'm a broke motherfucker.
Even though it's a compilation, I'm still jizzing my pants over this. Call me crazy, but I see it more as an album that has a couple of re-released songs on there. That's not important, though. The point is, this album is great, and you need it.