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Barbarity - Keeper of Oblivion - 93%

Edmund Sackbauer, November 8th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Careless Records (Digipak)

Over the past few years I came to appreciate metal from Russia so it was a nice surprise to discover this death metal outfit and also their label Careless records. While Barbarity is a new name to me they can look back at quite some history having been founded in 2002 and “Keeper of Oblivion” being already full length number six.

Similar to e.g. Vomitory the guys from Barbarity have included elements from various styles of death metal in their music taking inspiration from the US scene as well as some European peers. Their overall sound is deeply rooted in traditional old school territory. Most of the time they are operating in full throttle mode at breakneck speed. However, in some sections the tempo slows down giving the music even more intensity by acting as a contrast to the faster parts. This approach has already worked out for bands like Asphyx and it is no different here. The stomping yet groovy main riffs in those sections get the head automatically banging.

Barbarity understood that passive listeners are mainly interested in stringent and cohesive songs and not in different complex pieces of instrumentation just randomly strung together. The songwriting is on point and the flow of the album is great. There is not one moment of dullness or boredom and the whole record feels like a very well planned and executed piece of music flying by without noticing.

Although paying tribute to some big names like Bolt Thrower, Benediction or the above mentioned Vomitory it would be unfair to call Barbarity copy cats. Their approach of being open for a broader range of influences led to them being more creative in the songwriting department compared to the average modern death metal band. Each song can easily be distinguished from one another. While some are your classic genre hymns with blast-beats and chainsaw guitars others concentrate on moodier parts or harmonic hooks. The instrumentation is top notch and the hellish and very deep growling is the icing on the cake making the overall sound even more intense.

The production is spot on being powerful and punchy while adding just the right amount of putridity. All instruments can be heard and no detail gets buried in the mix. The cover art work is as old school as it gets and I am glad to report that the digipak editions presented by Careless are a nice looking addition to any collection that fans of the genre should not miss.