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Obscura: Cosmogenesis

Technical death metal fans get ready for the release of 2009. Yes, you heard that right. Cosmogenesis is the brand new release from German band Obscura, a supergroup of sorts as they feature ex-members of Pestilence and Necrophagist. The line-up on Cosmogenesis is Christian Muenzner (guitars, ex-Necrophagist), Jeroen Paul Thesseling (bass, ex- Pestilence), Hannes Grossmann (drums, ex-Necrophagist), and singer Steffen Kummerer. To say that these guys have formed some chemistry here is a severe understatement.

There's an old saying that goes something like "mimickry is the severest form of flattery", or something along those lines. Well, Obscura may not be trying to consciously trying to mimick acts like Death, Cynic, Athiest, Opeth, Necrophagist, or Pestilence, but what they've done here on Cosmogenesis is pay an ultimate tribute to those bands, and drop in their own unique sense of style to boot. The crunchy, brutal, and quite technical riffs and solos from Muenzer are a revelation here, as he conjures up images of Chuck Shuldiner and the various guitarists he worked with in Death during the 90's. Vocally, expect plenty of vicious growls and even some Cynic/The Faceless inspired vocoder/effects laden futuristic clean vocals (this seems to be a hot thing to do these days), and while Kummerer's style is nothing groundbreaking, it fits the music just fine. Thesseling's bass lines are fantastic, clearly audible in the mix, as he adds just the right amount of jazz-fusion flavor (Jaco Pastorius fans take note!) to these punishing tracks, and Grossmann plays his kit like a man possessed, with plenty of manic blast beats, double bass thunder, and intricate fusion fills to be heard on each track. Honestly, there's almost nothing this ensemble can't do and doesn't, and despite the obvious technical aspect of the 10 songs here, there's plenty of melody, groove and breathing room on these songs, the band allowing for plenty of space in between the complex interplay, so it's not a pure 100 mile and hour shredfest. Highlight cuts? Well, there's not a weak one to be had, but pay close attention to the title track, "Choir of Spirits", "Desolate Spheres", and the brooding, insane progressive metal monster that is "Centric Flow". If it's an absolutely dizzying brand of technical wizardry you want, then go no further than " Universe Momentum", a 'rip-snorting' blend of psycho-guitar hysteria, Opeth-styled acoustic passages, and intricate rhythms, easily one of the most complex pieces on the CD.

Honestly, if a more impressive progressive/technical death metal album is released at any point this year, I'd like to hear it, but I'll certainly at first be sceptical of its merits after what is contained on this juggernaut. Cosmogenesis will certainly be an album that future releases in this genre will be measured against, and should no doubt be looked at as a classic in years to come. Highly recommended!

Track Listing
1. The Anticosmic Overload 4:16
2. Choir of Spirits 5:31
3. Universe Momentum 4:33
4. Incarnated 4:53
5. Orbital Elements 5:21
6. Desolate Spheres 4:01
7. Infinite Rotation 4:48
8. Noospheres 5:04
9. Cosmogenesis 4:15
10. Centric Flow 7:25

Added: March 1st 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4111
Language: english

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