…and the saga continues. Let me introduce you to yet another band I haven’t heard about before; OBSCURANT. This the second release of doom-y Death Metal from these depressed Finns; “Lifeform: Dead” being their debut. At the moment it seems like OBSCURANT are having sort of a crisis with two of the members going back to their main priority, ALGHAZANTH. Not among the best band names I’ve heard, let’s hope the music is better. Sounds like a Black Metal band to me. As a matter of fact it is a Black Metal band. I downloaded a song from their homepage seconds ago and I’m listening to it as I write. It sounds good but I like OBSCURANT’s music better.
“First Degree Suicide” is a good album, not far from very good in these ear channels. It’s heavy, well played and well produced. My only real complaint is that some of the songs sound too alike. At times it feels like I’m listening to the same song over again. Repeated listens fixed some of the problem but its still there. Still I think it’s a good album. Some of the moments on this record are pure brilliance. Just listen to the last minutes of “Light From Above”, the dual vocals send chills down my spine. The word sacrifice has never sounded so good before.
One other thing I like about OBSCURANT is their massive sound. It sounds clean, some would perhaps say polished, but I think it is fits the music just right. Most of the effect would have been lost if the sound quality was lacking. Some of the reason for the massive sound must be accreted to the keyboard that lies beneath the guitars 24/7. In my opinion the keyboards enhances the music but they’re also one the reasons for some of the songs sounding alike. When it comes to vocals I haven’t got many complaints. The main vocals are something in between Black and Death Metal vocals, good and raspy. Not far from how Krell in BLOODTHORN sounds, the approach is very much the same. At times we are treated to pure Death vocals as well but always accompanied with the main variant; very effective indeed. There is also some clean vocal lines, very few, but they’re there like in the title track “First Degree Suicide”. Reminds me a bit of how ILLDISPOSED’s clean vocal sounds like. Don’t take my word for it, use the link that follows this review and make up your own mind. One of my favourite songs on the album and if you like it you should give the rest of the album a chance as well.
“First Degree Suicide” is first and foremost a relaxing experience. It contains anger but with a melancholic edge. If you like Doom Metal with large proportions of Death Metal in its sound OBSCURANT could be a very rewarding listen. “First Degree Suicide” doesn’t contain the long songs that “normal” Doom Metal bands have so don’t to be afraid to have your ADHD tested. I would also like to stress that repeated listens most likely is required to get the most out of this album. (Online June 2, 2006)