Thursday, January 6, 2011


I've wished many times in my life that i'd been born in a different decade so that i could enjoy growing up in either the 70's, the 80's or the 90's. I'm 31 so that puts my truly formative musical years in the 1992-1997 range (every seed was sown by then, everything after was just a branching off) but sometimes i wish i'd been an intellectual twenty something circa 1993 so i could have been privy to, and actually "gotten", awesome albums like Obliveon's Nemesis. I'm very sad to say that this record had been under my radar since yesterday, when i was reading "Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal." Sure, i love a lot of the bands discussed within (Atheist, Watchtower, Cynic, Death) but somehow this gem escaped me when i was getting into all that tech metal...had i been a jaded 25 year old in the early 90's i think the story might have been a different one, and i would have gravitated easily towards challenging material like this.
So after listening to this beast today, all i can really say is wow. This shit fucking slays. It slays in the best possible way, in the most head-banging, horns-raised, nostalgia-adoring way fathomable. And when weighed against the stuff i listen to today in the tech metal genre (Necrophagist, Creation is Crucifixion, Neuraxis, new Atheist) the stuff slays even more, because it's oblique and complex but not so much so that it isn't true thrash metal. This is like prime era Megadeth ("Rust in Peace" obviously) or Dark Angel with a few more deviations. It's rifftastic, most definetely, but it never lets go of the concept of fucking shit up and banging your fucking head. It's volatile, passionate metal and i am ashamed that i never got into this band back in the day.
The whole affair is needle-point precise and tight as a lash/stop on a dime triggered. Too many tech metal bands get obsessed with the idea of ridiculously complex instrumental prowess and hyper-orchestrated song structures, to the point where listening becomes a mathematical exercise and a lot of the joy and escape of music becomes void. Obliveon seemed to recognize the value of complexity and dexterity without sacrificing any of the crucial logistics of basic thrash metal. Again the obvious, glaring influence here is Megadeth but whereas Dave Mustaine was concerned with speed 100% Obliveon rein it in aways and balance all that shock-tactic riffing with mid-paced grinding groove sections and pit-ready chunk-a-thons, serving up an eight song juggernaut of utter metallized destruction. The whole thing sounds gorgeous, with ultra tight compressed guitars and forward sounding drums leaping alongside popping and undiminished bass work that is simultaneously buried and upfront in the mix. Really, this is just a fantastic piece of work and anyone even remotely concerned with thrash metal should get on board. Totally recommended.
Rattle your goddamned head. Fuck yeah.

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