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A Sorrowful Masterpiece - 100%

Ultra_Siluam, March 17th, 2007

Not much is known about this now-extinct band known as Obtained Enslavement and not many have even heard of them, which is a shame especially with the release of their first two albums. But fortunately I encountered them a few years ago. The simple fact that this album was released over a decade ago in 1994 gives it more beauty value as it is now apparently a forgotten masterpiece (and what a great year for Black Metal it was), which somewhat contradicts my complaint that this album is not well recognized. From the very first track you are promised a grim yet sorrowful album as everything hateful becomes darker, invoking a feeling of despair in the listener as the mournful melodies are introduced. It is not a depressive album entirely as there are some aggressive and heavy riffs here and there, but that is what contributes to its greatness; the fact that it is mixed with anger and sadness. It can be compared to Gorgoroth's Antichrist album, yet another masterpiece.

Also through the first track it becomes evident that this is one of their least symphonic-oriented albums, almost purely Black Metal, and even somewhat epic with its melodies, if you will. The vocals are performed by the widely respected Pest, also previously of the Gorgoroth fame. His undecipherable words, or cries of agony, which to my knowledge (the lyrics) remain unknown as I've never found any, and distant screams make for an even more gloomy album. There's even some growl-like vocals as featured in the second track, As I Slowly Fade. The production seems to be a bit "fuzzy", or maybe it is just the guitars. Also, the drums, as far as I understand and recognize music skill, are nothing too special, but they definitely get the job done. But who cares, this IS Black Metal, and something great nonetheless.

The album consists of 8 purely Metal tracks and one instrumental funebre outro; a great ending and an intro to their next, more symphonic, majestic album, Witchcraft. Upon first hearing I did not appreciate the entire album as I do nowadays. Thankfully, I gave it another chance as I tend to do with almost all music. As with just about every other Black Metal release, I suggest you embrace the cold atmosphere of this classic in the dark depressive night.