OBSCURA: A Farewell Rock


Obscura presents an album in the difficult position of succeeding Diluvium and Akróasis, after a breakup and restructuring of the band with Christian Münzner and Jeroen Paul Thesseling (Cosmogenesis-Omnivium) back on songwriting duties. This situation, coming from one of the most recognized points in his career and the meeting of the latest formation with a renowned guitarist, is an intrigue with many bets in the air that left them with the difficult task of living up to the circumstances but with the certainty that there is raw material to fulfill.
And of course, the skill of the musicians on this album is not hidden or questioned, I say this thinking of Forsaken, which like a corkscrew shows the best moments that A Valediction will have, both in the gear of riffs, fast. battery changes. and brilliant guitar solos with a neoclassical touch. And from Forsaken we jump to Unity, the next theme that I like because it is clearly one of those rebound themes, where the same thing that the previous three touch on is better exposed and gives more vertigo on the fourth occasion.
The Neuromancer is another key theme, and that is that by then, more than half of the listening has gone to songs with mediocre rhythms and with the regular dynamics that you find in some of the singles, so the transition to a song like this one, made to offer the most intense tours of the album, when it arrives, it really does its job and contrasts with the rest of the songs that sound like elaborate excuses to get to the duel of guitar solos at the end. Beyond, well, it’s an Obscura album and at the end is the song with an acoustic guitar intro partially embellished with symphonic textures.
I’d like to commend how tasty and distinct all the instruments sound on Devourer Ursurper, especially the bass parts that don’t drown behind and shake the walls of the record. I sincerely believe that on the side of this issue is the Obscura that we still have to listen to, if they find a way to solve an album with this sound, where speed does not play the main role, the voices roar at full volume and the guitar strings. they are festering, they will have done something exceptional.
Listening to it for the third and fourth time, it made me think about where the magic of the obscura has been in the last three albums, because the success of Akróasis is that they took a radically different approach to their sound and that is directly the style and the influence of Tom Geldschläger. And the truth of A Valediction is that, in the face of the extreme creation of Diluvium, the presence and absence of Linus Klausenitzer, Rafael Trujillo and Sebastian Lanser are noticeable. And I’m not saying this to make you approach the material with prejudice, it’s that after listening to it a couple of times you realize that the change of controls does reduce Obscura’s interpretation from one album to another and in the most personal and original direction. to which they aspired. Now, with part of their “classic” lineup, they seem to be going back to what they had put out 10 years ago and aiming for a phenomenal album from 10 years ago.
To his credit, I’d say the more experienced Steffen Kummerer delivers an album that helps a lot in the overall flow, but after the novelty has worn off with the first two listens, it’s obvious which songs you stick with and which are more. or fewer replacement songs. .
Surely it is an album for those who appreciate the focus on virtuous solos, the use of such specific riffs and that is: “Let’s be the Obscura we were when we were together”, on his part. And although it is sometimes satisfactory, for now I am left with the impression that they did enough. There is life for Obscura after this.