OBSCENITY - Retaliation

Obscenity - Retaliation

10 songs
44:58 minutes
***** ***


Back when I was young, death metal was death metal, nothing less, and nothing more. Nowadays there are so many different variety (melodic, brutal, progressive, technical,... death metal and possibly even deathcore) that it is hard for an ageing metalhead like me to keep an overview. This should make it easy to imagine how happy I was to come across a new album by German death metal veterans Obscenity from Lower Saxony who were founded back in 1989. Their first two albums might have passed quite unnoticed, but their next one, The 3rd Chapter from 1996, is still considered a classic death metal gem in the genre’s underground. It was also their first album on the legendary Morbid Records label. Four more album followed before the band took a break in 2009. A comeback album came out in 2012, making Retaliation their overall eighth album so far, this time on the small but quality conscious label Kolony Records.

Only guitarist Hendrik Bruns and drummer Sascha Knust remain from the classic line-up, but that doesn’t mean that much, if anything, has changed with the Lower Saxons’ sound. The ten songs on Retaliation offer no-holds-barred death metal with evil growling vocals, fast guitar riffs that sound like a swarm of killer bees attacking you, and a rhythm section that is pummelling its way through your skull. And still this is not like the current brutal death metal sound which usually is only interested in achieving a high level of aggression. With Obscenity, you also get a lot of surprisingly melodic guitar parts that allow the songs’ more savage moments to stand out even more fiercely.

The production of the album is top notch, giving every instrument exactly the room it needs, with the belligerent vocals looming over it all. The songs are played mostly at quite a fast pace, with a strong hint of classic Florida death metal and some West Coast thrash metal elements, making Obscenity come across like a mix between early Morbid Angel and a more abrasive Slayer. It’s needless to point out highlights, because Retaliation is working on a constantly high level. If you belong to the crowd that always liked the first albums of classic death metal bands best, you will certainly not be disappointed by this late effort of one of Germany’s finest death metal bands.

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