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Obtest... Ob-awesome - 95%

Basilisk, May 22nd, 2009

Legendary Lithuanian pagan black metallers Obtest return with this, their third full-length album; “Is Kartos I Karta” and it is no disappointment. Compared to their last album they have really cleaned up the production, which is now tight and clear, but the atmosphere of the music is still largely the same.

The music can be called black metal with a flavour of Lithuanian folk that pervades through in the melodies of the music as there are no folk instruments used. At times the music is dark, but it is also capable of being somewhat upbeat, which can most likely be attributed to the folk influence that lurks behind the harsh spitting and spewing black metal front.

The style of the music is consistent but every song follows its own distinct pattern and melody. The guitar work is great; the instruments succeed in evading flat-sounding music and are capable of creating some really majestic melodies. The vocals are pretty good; sung entirely in Lithuanian, they are throaty and harsh, but the sort of chanted hymns are where they really come through in creating a satisfying harmony with the music.

Obtest is definitely a band worth checking out if you are at all partial to the genre. “Is Kartos I Karta” is a great album with improved production and original, well-executed songs. My favourite songs on this album are tracks 2, 3, and 4. I highly recommend this.

www.beyondallremorse.co.uk review - 80%

BeyondAllRemorse, February 7th, 2006

When you think of Lithuania, you possibly wouldn't automatically associate the place with a thriving metal scene, but the truth of the matter is that the nation seems to be quite literally overflowing with sheer quality.

Enter Obtest then, who lay claim to the Heathen War Metal tag and proceed to take the genre by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake up. Just why bands need sub genres is beyond me, but I guess it helps with their classification and such like. To be fair, this wouldn't specifically fit under the Death or Black metal banner anyway, yet fans of both will undoubtedly salivate at what this band have produced here.

Pure quality from start to finish with blistering guitar lines that buzz away with a pure intensity, coursing over a rhythm section that is on a one way charge straight from the gates of hell and have no intention of letting up until the band have created a maelstrom over their bleak and desolate homelands plains. Serious melody ebbs from the dueling guitars, all over the clever structures bringing to mind Iron Maiden at times, yet this band are far from the overall sound they produce. Heathen War Metal it may be called, but to me this is just sheer quality. So much so that I would even go as far to say that this album is in my top five of the year.