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A Discordant, Virulent Flashback. - 85%

LefterisK, January 28th, 2014

Virus has always been a rather undeprictable proposition and ‘Oblivion Clock’ is no different, bringing minimal and concentrated playing, the one the band is precicely known for, into its maximum, further experimental status. A frantic, agonizing look into the history of Virus featuring songs from every period of the band, even before. Some songs are completely new, some of them are old but took their final form for this album, it’s like an evolution map but contemporary, a spanning of each Virus session plus more.

‘Oblivion Clock’ is as hypnotic and mesmerizing as the rest of Virus’ music with Czral’s low and trembling operatic croon calling you into familiar fields. The music is mostly up-tempo and driven but dark and dissonant with passages that twist and turn into the mind, a pleasant antithesis. ‘The Pull of the Crater’ is one of the most eerie tracks of the album, the numerous guitar layers used, offer greatly to its essence, even small unoticeable parts or atmospheric sounds are enough to find a way into the human psyche, like venturing into a circular, spinning condition under the earth's surface, a condition of an ongoing, spiral crawling as one waits for that exit light to come closer, or should I say the ‘Gaslight Exit’, which is the kind of feeling you get from the song as well. One thing that should not remain unnoticed is Oblivion Clock’s short duration which is also a plus. Of course this record needs multiple listens in order to grow on you, a fact quite known with Virus, but the immediacy here is more present than ever. ‘Saturday Night Virus' is playful and memorable, with the bonus, hitherto unreleased Walker Brothers cover of the ‘Shutout’ being in the same vein. One striking characteristic that can be found in most of Virus’ music is the anxiety attacks, those musical labyrinths, they manage to create from the way their music sounds to how they uniquely craft their claustrophobic, fluidised opuses.

‘Oblivion Clock’ features the undisclosed novelty of Virus, not exactly the same but still highly interesting, a weird approach of discordant rhythmic structures and vocalizations, orotund and distant. This album is nothing else but a deeper exploration of Virus’ continuing evolution, an inner look to the surreal edge of metal’s avant-garde.

Lefteris Kefalas,
http://avantgarde-metal.com