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The Path Towards.. Killer Death Metal! - 95%

Metalstorm54, December 13th, 2017

Oblivion are returning with yet another massive record worthy of awe! You may remember their initial emergence with the massive 2013 effort “Called To Rise”. Now, they’re back to shatter skulls once again with their sophomore LP “The Path Towards…”.

For those who are unaware, it’s safe to say there’s lots of talent here. Actually, that might be an understatement when you look into the credentials of individual members. For example, guitarist Ben Orum is the founder and primary songwriter of All Shall Perish, vocalist Dr. Nick Vasallo is an internationally acclaimed composer, and Ted O’Neill is a shredding legend who returned to the scene after a 25 year hiatus with this line-up. That’s barely scratching the surface.

Every member brings something special to the table. They all have notably different styles and backgrounds which they successfully merge into a beautiful, extreme metal sound that stands out in its own right. It’s also worth noting that, when together, they work as an unstoppable machine. In fact, while I was speaking with Ben, he unveiled that the band wrote 2 full albums in two months! Given the quality of this first production alone, that’s incredible! Ted further commented further on this fact saying, “We got into this frenetic writing pace… Nick is a monster as a composer. One of those that can write a song in his head and then sit down and notate the whole thing.”

The album opens and ends with some Vasallo-esque darkness. It feels much like an introduction to destruction and the aftermath of a storm which is appropriate given the content of this album. They also serve as great bookends for the experience as a whole.

Following the opener, the album spares no time in delivering that promised destruction with the tracks “Dominion” and “Mechanistic Hollow”. These, in conjunction with the single “Awaiting Autochthon” really set the stage for the aural violence one can expect from the majority of a record that does not fail to deliver!

It may seem contradictory but, in some ways, one could describe Oblivion as an old school death metal band in spirit with a new school approach that implements fresh ideas. The whole presentation is steeped in a certain nostalgic metal energy that makes this particular sub-genre great while bringing about some original thoughts that make it stand aside from much of the pack.

The band brings excellent composition into the fold, rising and releasing tension masterfully from track to track. The elements of organized chaos spin the mind while simultaneously keeping things in check with its deadly focus. This is no easy feat and Oblivion pull it off admirably.

Every number on the “The Path Towards…” brings something worthwhile for extreme metal fans. Whether it be the dissonant, damn near neo-classical moments of “Zenith” and “Under a Dead Sun” (which also has hints of what sounds like Tuvan throat singing), the seemingly experimental howls on “Concrete Thrones” (feat. Eddie Hermida of Suicide Silence and fellow member to Ben in All Shall Perish) and “Harsh Awakening” (among others), the exceptional time switches and dramatic pause on “It Has Become”, or the punishing riffs and blasts found on “Holders of the Sword” (once again, among others), there’s a pleasant surprise lining every corner. Once again, that’s barely scratching the surface.

To sum things up, Oblivion have done it once again. This is an excellent, content rich death metal record that deserves a spin or ten. It’s a dark and dissonant ode to extinction set on a universal, apocalyptic scale. It was easily worth the wait and gets better with every listen.