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Obsolete - Animate//Isolate review

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Band: Obsolete
Album: Animate//Isolate
Release date: April 2021

01. Still
02. The Atrophy Of Will
03. The Slough
04. Old Horizon
05. Silent Freeway
06. Stumbling And Listless
07. The Fog
08. Callousness Of Soul
09. Intercostal

Obsolete's Animate//Isolate is pretty much a thrash metal band playing technical death metal. And they're bold enough to put a bunch of flowers on their cover art.

Now comes the part where I hate myself for already giving you the bulk of the album's description and having to find a way to fill the rest of the review. But then again, my assessment isn't entirely accurate. But... let's start from the beginning. Obsolete are a four-piece from Minneapolis, Minnesota and this is their debut album, coming off the helm of their only other release, the 2018 EP The Rumored Death Of Atlas. And if their debut album is already coming out on a label that I heard of (in this case Unspeakable Axe Records), I'd say they're doing something right. A bunch of members seem to have been part of some mildly successful local bands (as in they did release full-lengths) that I didn't get to add here yet, a bunch of which were tech/prog death metal bands, so I guess that does explain why Obsolete sounds the way it does.

A lot of Animate//Isolate sounds like tech death, both old and new. Mostly old, akin to Atheist, early Cynic and later Death, all of which already had a bit of a thrash component, but also there are traces of more modern stuff like Obscura and Gorod. The biggest death metal anchor comes from the vocals, which are about as snarly as you can expect from a thrashy death metal band, but I also have to shout out the restless drum performance filling up the space with blast beats when needed. As far as the riffing goes, it's easier to see the technical common denominator between technical thrash and technical death rather than to divide between the two. It moves between the aforementioned tech death influences, but it merges them with some Watchtower/Vektor ones quite seamlessly.

Probably the one thing that makes this lean more towards thrash than death, regardless of whether the death influences outweigh the thrash ones, is the fact that this isn't really that aggressive in the death metal sense. So it feels aggressive by thrash metal standards due to the snarly vocals and the blast beats, but not by death metal standards because of how the riffs' technicality seems to make them more melodic and how the production doesn't really emphasize its brutality. Which I find to be pretty cool, since the raw sound does give us some pretty bonkers snare sounds that makes the experience a bit more unique without making it sound ridiculous, and there's just enough contrast between the heavy aspects and the relatively lighter aspects to make Animate//Isolate a pretty fun listen. There are times when the emphasis on technicality does detract a bit from the song's memorability, but they're far from the most needlessly intricate bands out there. And if Animate//Isolate proves anything is that can both play and write.

There's still room for growth, but I can already consider Obsolete among my most promising thrash bands. All I hope is that they don't turn into just a tech death one.

Written on 27.07.2021 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 31 users
28.07.2021 - 18:50

Sounds like something I would very much enjoy. Listening now.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

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28.07.2021 - 23:36
Good stuff. The namedropping is accurate but of course Obsolete are not on the level of any of the bands mentioned. The album is technical and riffy though, so good enough for me.

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