Rating:
8.5
Obscura - Cosmogenesis
17 February 2009


01. Anticosmic Overload
02. Choir Of Spirits
03. Universe Momentum
04. Incarnated
05. Orbital Elements
06. Desolate Spheres
07. Infinite Rotation
08. Noospheres
09. Cosmogenesis
10. Centric Flow


Got the cd in my hands and the bandname tips its hat to a classic Gorguts album, the logo is reminiscent of the classic Obituary logo and the cover art is futuristic depicting something cosmological. Conclusion: This must be a technical death metal band. And, lo and behold, it is. What band and album am I talking about? Obscura's sophomore album Cosmogenesis, of course.

First off, it is almost impossible to compare Cosmogenesis to the band's debut Retribution because only guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer is stilll present in the current line-up. But just looking at the line-up that recorded Cosmogenesis will be enough to make your average tech death metal drool. Because what have we here? Christian Muenzer on guitars and Hannes Grossmann on drums, both ex-Necrophagist and, damn, are my eyes deceiving me? Nope, they aren't. Cosmogenesis sees the return of fretless bass master Jeroen Paul Thesseling to the realms of metal. How have I missed that man's bass playing ever since he starred on Pestilence's Spheres

Such a line-up can, of course, turn out utterly brilliant or a complete failure. For me a failure would be an album sounding like Necrophagist's technical death metal wankery for showing-off sake where the focus on proper song-writing has been totally lost. But thank God they have been merciful on me, cause one thing Cosmogenesis does feature is proper songs that consist of a head and a tail.

Proceedings do start off with, what can be regarded as, the weakest song of the album. "Anticosmic Overload" is a quite generic death metal tune which is full of shredding and is only lifted above average by JPT's incredible fretless bass playing. His bass playing, is without a doubt, the highlight of the album. DiGiorgio, Webster et. al. move over for the one and only true master of death metal bass. Jeroen utilises his bass in most cases as a solo instrument and not just as a rhythmic device. The production really does accentuate that as well placing it nice and prominently in the mix.

Come track number two "Choir Of Spirits" Obscura starts to show more of an own identity although it keeps on reminding me of Cynic's "Veil Of Maya". But that must certainly be due to the use of a vocoder here. And checking the liner notes it shows that Tymon Kruidenier of Cynic is featured on this song. Being a young (except Jeoren that is) band some influences are bound to shine through. As is also the case with "Incarnated" which comes across as a tribute to later era Death.
Apart from Tymon guesting on this album we also see Ron Jarzombek of Spastic Ink fame guest. His guitar skills can be admired in the title track "Cosmosgenesis".

Cosmogenesis is over before the listener notices it. That is a major strength of the album cause it makes you play it again immediately upon termination. Ten songs in all and all short enough to keep you focused. And a total sigh of relief on my part for it not containing any pointless showing off and wankery. Every single instrument plays in service of the song proper.

In conclusion one can say this is one mighty impressive album which any self-respecting fan of technical death metal should get, or at least give a fair try. But beware... if you prefer instrumental wankery where all sight of a proper song is lost such as Necrophagist lets loose upon the world then Cosmogenesis is most probably lost on you.

The strong point of Cosmogenesis are its songs which flow naturally and have a cool groove to them. And the major highlight of the album is totally Jeroen's incredible bass playing. A minor setback, to this otherwise wonderful album, is that it clearly showcases the band's influences thus taking away from its originality. But I am sure that come next album the influences will have diminished almost totally.


Band profile: Obscura
Album: Cosmogenesis


 


written by Marcel Hubregtse | 16.06.2009



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Shadowcross - 16.06.2009 at 21:39  
Great review... couldn't agree more. Jeroen's playing is so creative on this record and is the highlight. Everything comes together perfectly.
Paying homage to the earlier stuff yet done in a way which none could call unoriginal.
Exceptional technical death album.
BitterCOld - 16.06.2009 at 23:19  
I am inrtigued.
Bigpaul - 16.06.2009 at 23:24  
About time a review on this went up.....thanks, its an excellent album. Noospheres is the only weak track imho. Listened to this album loads of times over the last couple of months and I keep picking up on things I haven't noticed before! Great variety on here. I agree with the review, the bands influences are quite clear but I'm already looking forward to the followup to this when they will hopefully hone their own sound. great musicianship, great variety, great songs....'nuff said!
Centric Flow is a great album closer, the riff in the second half of the song stuck in my head for ages after I heard it!
Deadmeat - 17.06.2009 at 00:03  
Written by Bigpaul on 16.06.2009 at 23:24

Great variety on here.

Centric Flow is a great album closer, the riff in the second half of the song stuck in my head for ages after I heard it!

i totaly agree with those 2 things you said. this album is great but i've not heard it so much till now. so when i'll finish it's listening i'll come back!!! nice review btw but it should say imo that about variety. this album is one of the most "unboring" albums i've ever heard cause it has a great variety. no same-style songs... and this is too fucking important nowadays when we see many bands repeating themselves in every song...
K†ulu - 17.06.2009 at 07:18  
Anticosmic Overload is "a quite generic death metal tune?" Either the whole genre has missed my ears or you're out of your mind. That song is so not generic and it's so much more than just death metal. It's so captivating that no wonder why they put it up as track 1. And I actually think that it's the best song on the album.
Galar - 17.06.2009 at 07:41  
Great review as always
BloodTears - 17.06.2009 at 10:02  
They also remind me of Death and Cynic. I thought about that since the first listen. But with all those recognizable sounds there, they still managed to do their thing and put out a very good album.

It's powerful and, I must say, after a few listens, catchy. Very headbangable and air-guitar possibilities everywhere. I really like the vocals and the lyrical compositions as well.

Obscura won me over with this album, it's certainly one of the best albums of the year I listened to so far and from a genre I have been neglecting. It's good to be back.
Elio - 17.06.2009 at 11:16  
It's not original anymore but still kicks ass. I agree with Marcel, the bass is quite surely the best played instrument in this album and probably gives something more in terms of quality.
Mr. Doctor - 17.06.2009 at 13:56  
Nice review... Although I dislike the fact that you picked on Necrophagist.
It's not like "if you like this band your an asshole and cannot like great bands".

Awesome music though. But I see must of the technical metal as something awesome for the first hour then it turns boring. Although this band is kinda interesting.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.06.2009 at 14:11  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.06.2009 at 13:56

Nice review... Although I dislike the fact that you picked on Necrophagist.
It's not like "if you like this band your an asshole and cannot like great bands".




I picked on Necrophagist cause they loose sight of proper song structures and go off into wanking territory and are there just to show off. I didn't say " "if you like this band your an asshole and cannot like great bands". I merely said if you really dig Necrophagist you will probably not be too fond of Obscura. Because Obscura is about proper song writing and not wanking
Mr. Doctor - 17.06.2009 at 14:19  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.06.2009 at 14:11

I merely said if you really dig Necrophagist you will probably not be too fond of Obscura. Because Obscura is about proper song writing and not wanking


That's what I'm talking about! It's not like that! It's not like just for listening to necrophagist you're a dude that just likes guitarr pornography. That's just stereotype tbh. [although I've seen dudes like that so I dig what you're saying]

In any case... I see Tech Death pretty much as prog metal... good music but not a single drop of emotions. And then those dues tell me that Doom is boring as fuck...
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.06.2009 at 14:46  
Written by K†ulu on 17.06.2009 at 07:18

Anticosmic Overload is "a quite generic death metal tune?" Either the whole genre has missed my ears or you're out of your mind. That song is so not generic and it's so much more than just death metal. It's so captivating that no wonder why they put it up as track 1. And I actually think that it's the best song on the album.



Maybe "generic" is too strong a word in this context. But what I meant was that it is quite a standard technical death metal song and by far not as interesting as the other songs on Cosmogenesis.
jupitreas - 17.06.2009 at 15:05  
Lol Marcel, could your nose be any further planted in Jeroen's rectum? Sounds like you have a crush on the man
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.06.2009 at 15:10  
Written by jupitreas on 17.06.2009 at 15:05

Lol Marcel, could your nose be any further planted in Jeroen's rectum? Sounds like you have a crush on the man


Hahahaha you should see my arm instead I will take a picture of it and send it to you.

But I see what you mean, all this lavish praise on his bass playing. But as anyone who has heard this album can attest to the bass playing is actually the strongest point of the album, and he does blow so-called bass gods right out off the water
Visioneerie - 17.06.2009 at 18:12  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.06.2009 at 14:19

In any case... I see Tech Death pretty much as prog metal... good music but not a single drop of emotions. And then those dues tell me that Doom is boring as fuck...

I disagree, tech death can hold some emotion. It may be more subtle because of the complex instrumentation but emotions are there nonetheless. It's more a question of taste, i'm not a big fan of doom, i find it drags on and if it could get any slower my heart would probably stop beating. I like music that gives me a heart attack lol. Though i really like bands like Pelican, Isis, Baroness... life is complicated.

anyways good review, i was impressed by the cd on the first few listens really good songwriting and EMOTION put into the songs. the production is crystal clear but the problem is the lack of heaviness and this is the only thing that turned me off.
Mr. Doctor - 17.06.2009 at 18:18  
Written by Visioneerie on 17.06.2009 at 18:12

Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.06.2009 at 14:19

In any case... I see Tech Death pretty much as prog metal... good music but not a single drop of emotions. And then those dues tell me that Doom is boring as fuck...

I disagree, tech death can hold some emotion. It may be more subtle because of the complex instrumentation but emotions are there nonetheless. It's more a question of taste, i'm not a big fan of doom, i find it drags on and if it could get any slower my heart would probably stop beating. I like music that gives me a heart attack lol. Though i really like bands like Pelican, Isis, Baroness... life is complicated.

anyways good review, i was impressed by the cd on the first few listens really good songwriting and EMOTION put into the songs. the production is crystal clear but the problem is the lack of heaviness and this is the only thing that turned me off.


We agree to disagree and that's fair enough for me .
I mean... sure I do understand why the genre is praised and I love the songwritting. I just happen to pick other genres more often
skrätte - 17.06.2009 at 21:15  
Great review. Cosmogenesis is a great album. Not my favorite of the year, but in the top 5, so far... and it's growing on me with every listen. The first time I gave it a run through, it seemed to end abruptly and I thought, "is that it? I need to listen to it again." And I did just that.

You were dangerously close to overusing the word "wank" in all its various forms, but just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, you ceased. Whether intentional or by accident, your usage was masterful.

Yep.
Deadmeat - 17.06.2009 at 21:32  
Written by Visioneerie on 17.06.2009 at 18:12

the problem is the lack of heaviness and this is the only thing that turned me off.

you are absolutely right but i guess that it's the production that "creates" this problem as it makes the blastbeats and generally the fast moments much more neutral than extreme...
nb - 17.06.2009 at 22:53  
I like this stuff, sounds great.
Dangerboner - 19.06.2009 at 02:59  
I also hate the first track - it's just boring and unoriginal. The album gets better as it goes on, but I don't seem to be as impressed as most people seem. Not surprising since I normally hate prog/tech death, but for some reason I thought it would be better.
Stigmatized - 19.06.2009 at 06:18  
Written by Dangerboner on 19.06.2009 at 02:59

I also hate the first track - it's just boring and unoriginal. The album gets better as it goes on, but I don't seem to be as impressed as most people seem. Not surprising since I normally hate prog/tech death, but for some reason I thought it would be better.


I wasn't impressed either. It's a solid album, but nothing extraordinary.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.06.2009 at 02:12  
Written by Stigmatized on 19.06.2009 at 06:18

but nothing extraordinary.


You can't deny the bassplaying is something else on this album. Hell, non-one currently even comes close in death metal
Dangerboner - 23.06.2009 at 09:41  
I'm no musician, but I would say that Erlend Caspersen at least comes close, but that's off topic. Besides the bass playing, I really enjoy the melodic side they show later on the album, which you also mentioned before, but I still think they tried to play too fancy.
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.06.2009 at 11:48  
Written by Dangerboner on 23.06.2009 at 09:41

... but I still think they tried to play too fancy.


And that is where I totally disagree cause I felt that they tried to keep it quite simple and not show off too much, unlike a lot of bands operating in this genre.
Deadmeat - 23.06.2009 at 21:37  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.06.2009 at 11:48

Written by Dangerboner on 23.06.2009 at 09:41

... but I still think they tried to play too fancy.


And that is where I totally disagree cause I felt that they tried to keep it quite simple and not show off too much, unlike a lot of bands operating in this genre.

agree here. Incarnated is for example a great MELODIC song but it must be from what i can understand one of the easiest on the album musically...
Stigmatized - 24.06.2009 at 18:00  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 23.06.2009 at 02:12

Written by Stigmatized on 19.06.2009 at 06:18

but nothing extraordinary.


You can't deny the bassplaying is something else on this album. Hell, non-one currently even comes close in death metal


Obviously the bass playing is good, but for whatever reason it didn't jump out at me.
Fat & Sassy! - 28.06.2009 at 00:24  
Written by Dangerboner on 23.06.2009 at 09:41

... but I still think they tried to play too fancy.


I agree. It probably because I don't really listen to a lot of this stuff, but it kinda bores me. I don't really understand how bands like Dream Theater can be considered musically wankery and this isn't. And I'm not really fond of the growls either.
lord artan - 29.06.2009 at 16:26  
I love this album
MeloDeathViking - 26.08.2009 at 18:27  
Could of sworn that I commented on this album, guess not. I'm not usually a fan of technical death metal slbums, but this one blew me away. The one song that really stood out to me is Orbital Elements, it's one of the best instrumental tracks I've heard. It actually has great substance too it. I know there are a lot of good instumental tracks out there, but I dont consider there to be too many excellent ones, but I definitly think Orbital Elements hits the excellent mark.
Deadmeat - 26.08.2009 at 20:10  
Well now that i've completed the listening of this album i have to say that it is a great effort from a new band. it shows that they have the potential to reach very high standards. imo this album is almost a 10... i'd like it to "sound" more aggressive...
Galar - 16.09.2009 at 06:02  
Good music is good music
Daggon - 24.09.2009 at 08:34  
Today I listened a lot of tech death metal, so I gave a try to this album and I found it very enjoyable, not all songs are good, but the lyrics are cool and as Marcel said, the bass guitar plays a nice role and it's not just a secondary instrument. I think that with 8 songs it could be a great listen. I didnt't find it perfect, but maybe the next album will kickass even more than this one.
wormdrink414 - 03.10.2009 at 04:42  
Album of the year so far.
Array - 08.12.2009 at 17:25  
Oh shit. This is good stuff!
InnerSelf - 10.12.2009 at 13:49  
For me it is the best Death metal album for this year and NOT Nile's overrated FWTGD
the bass playing captured my attention and the way the instrument put is in the production is perfect
not an average album it is something realy beyond
Array - 18.01.2010 at 20:12  
Yeah fuck, this kicks ass still. Also very enjoyable for selfplaying.
Maxx666 - 05.02.2010 at 20:32  
Such a great album. The atmosphere sometimes reminds me of Decrepit Birth-Diminishing between worlds.
₣rost Giant - 19.02.2010 at 15:31  
One of my favorite albums.
StratoDan1990 - 02.03.2010 at 23:22  
What can I say about this album? It's full of energy, just what you need in a fucking good metal album. The bass is second to none, and the vocalist is great! This CD sums up exactly how I like my metal. Fast, heavy and full of pure energy!! If they continue to make better releases than this, then this band are guna do seriously well. This band is capable of a lot !
I_Die_Often - 13.03.2010 at 18:22  
It's one of the best!
Lord_Regnier - 14.03.2010 at 04:01  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 17.06.2009 at 14:19

In any case... I see Tech Death pretty much as prog metal... good music but not a single drop of emotions.


That's how I see Death Metal in general. And the reason why I prefer Thrash and Black Metal a hundred times over Death Metal. I never liked DM, apart from a few very rare exceptions. The fact that I hate growls in general really doesn't help either.
MetalDoomMaster - 11.04.2010 at 01:52  
My only problem with this album the the lack of creating any sort of brutal sound, which is why I think Retribution is a little bit better, some of the guitar riffs from the previous album sound similar to something Death would do, which is cool too. Both Retribution and Cosmogenesis are amazing albums though.
wormdrink414 - 25.02.2011 at 10:56  
Curious to know if any of you still listen to this. I burnt out on it early last year and haven't put it on since.
Troy Killjoy - 26.02.2011 at 00:52  
Written by wormdrink414 on 25.02.2011 at 10:56

Curious to know if any of you still listen to this. I burnt out on it early last year and haven't put it on since.

I think I only listened to it once or twice in 2010. Sometimes if I shuffle my Zune a song will come on and I usually listen to it right to the end - for me the songs still have a lot of energy and aggressiveness. I remember when I first listened to it, I was floored. I'd probably give it an 8/10 as opposed to a 8.5 now.
Deadmeat - 27.02.2011 at 11:45  
"But I am sure that come next album the influences will have diminished almost totally."

i feel that this is the best thing said on this review as i am listening to the new songs and comparing them with the songs of the previous album...
Grody2themax - 12.03.2011 at 08:57  
"But beware... if you prefer instrumental wankery where all sight of a proper song is lost such as Necrophagist" Lol, my favorite part of the review because I've always thought this and could rarely find anyone else who agreed with me. Its not that Necrophagist plays "bad" music, its just that I could never really listen to it. Yea, it has a lot of notes, but in Necrophagist's case, it doesnt really compliment the music very much. At least in my opinion.

I really disagreed with some of the comments on this haha. Prog/Tech Death not having enough emotion? Necrophagist or mathcore may have very little emotion, but real prog/tech death bands I would completely disagree.

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