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Obscura

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 22, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Olympic
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005A0N9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Rarely do a band somehow manage to embody a genre whilst also defying it and giving it the finger. Gorguts kinda sound like Robert Fripp teamed up with some avant-garde musicians who have been listening to too much free jazz and decided to record a death metal album. Gorguts are death metal (or at least tech death). The growled/barked vocals are there, as are the heavy guitars, technical riffs and blast beats. Yet at the same time, there's no death metal out there that sounds like this.

Obscura is, for lack of a better word, disgusting. It's horrible to listen to. Aurally it's completely crushing. Aesthetically its dissonance sounds like metal being scratched. Conventional melody is nowhere to be heard. And it is inTENSE. The mood and atmosphere of this music is blistering the way death metal should be yet so rarely is. Obscura is just hedious. But it's like a car crash on the other side of the road. You know you're not meant to enjoy it, yet somehow you can't turn away. There's something so visceral about it that your curiousity gets the better of you. Everytime I listen to Obscura I keep trying to figure out why I like listening to it. All I know is that I do. The music gives me butterflies in my stomach and gives me the chills. I've never had that from a death metal album before, even ones I like more than this one (of which there are very few).

There is no tech death album like Obscura. Any openminded fan of heavy, dissonant and intense music needs this album.
Comment 31 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Man these guys went over the top on this release. Yeah its brutal alright but its constantly changing insane time signature overkill is daunting to say the least. I don't see how these guys kept it together, great musicianship at any rate, but not one of the most accessable albums I've ever heard. Sometimes a groove appears but most of this is like Captain Beefheart on steroids and meth during his Trout Mask Replica days. Friggin' insane, dark and ugly. Its savory but for special tastes. I have to give props to the drummer Patrick Robert, he is a fantastic musician. Just for keeping a beat in this nuttiness he alone gets 5 stars, not to mention the other guys. This album is dissonant, unusual (they use a violin on Earthly Love), original and fantastic.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're looking for a traditional Death Metal CD with "dry heave" vocals and ultra bass-frequency guitars, look elsewhere. Gorgut's first two albums were pretty good "traditional" Death Metal albums. With Obscura they've gone way beyond the boundaries of Death Metal or even Metal in general. This is not an album you can slam a six-pack and mosh to - it requires your full concentration...the music is unbelievably complex and dissonant - so much so that at first listening it sounds like a total mess (at least if you're not used to listening to free-form jazz). But, if you are persistant, it all starts to make horrible sense. Everything about this album is totally unique: In addition to Luc Lemay's more customary Deathmetal vocals, Steve Hurdel's hoarse shrieking style is truely frieghtening. The guitars are not anywhere near the low-end jackhammer of most other Deathmetal bands - These guys use all six strings and then some. The drums are beyond anything I've ever heard - time signatures mean nothing to these guys. Perhaps best of all, instead of the endless gore and brutality which compose most Deathmetal albums, the lyrics on Obscura actually deal with the experience of death. Obscura is definetly the deepest, heaviest, most technically brilliant and most frieghtening Death Metal album ever recorded.
Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The first time listening Obscura will sound like just a bunch of noise, but listen after listen you begin to understand more and more...i'd agree with the reviewer who said this album is like a rubix cube, insanely complex,bizarre time signatures that confuse the hell out of you,grating guitars and vocals that tear at your soul and drums straight from polyrhythmic hell, and at times...beautiful(??), yes i said beautiful, after about the 10th listen or so you begin to hear the melody in the song even though it sounds like there is none at first. It will become VERY evident over time if you are patient. Chaotic genius...i'd say Obscura is a MUST HAVE!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Tired of the same old "grind?" Do you like death metal, but feel like the genre's getting stale? Despite this band's somewhat goofy name--which, I admit, made me wait too long to pick up this album--you should get this now. There's a great variety of tempos here, and some really strange, "obscure" riffs which you will nonetheless find embedded in your cranium later. I was pleasantly surprised when it grabbed me right from the first track, and didn't let go until the equally strange ending.
If you like this album, get Cephalic Carnage's Exploiting Dysfunction too.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the continuing tech-metal explosion, it's a true tragedy that "Obscura" is long out of print. Though already a fairly legendary release among afficianodos, were "Obscura" readily available it would possibly earn a deserved reputation as one of the most outlandish and distinctive tech-metal albums ever released. To be perfectly blunt, I've listened to a lot of tech-metal in my day, but I haven't heard much that sounds like this.

Extreme metal is, of course, known for being harsh and abrasive, but Gorguts take this tendency to another level here. Truthfully, many tech and extreme metal bands are not really actively discordant, they merely play very fast, very loud and with little regard for conventional melody. "Obscura", however, actually attacks the ears, nastily expanding upon the death-jazz formula pioneered in the early 90s: piercing, avant-garde melodies, unconventional chords and shrieking harmonics overlay shifting, asymmetric time signatures while the band effortlessly leaps from extremely fast to dirge-slow and everything in between. The guitar/bass interplay is uniquely abrasive, with the prominent, slap bass fighting with the sometimes monstrous, sometimes atmospheric guitars to create a discordant wall of noise, in contrast to the meaty but relatively clean sound of most metal. The drumming is somewhat more conventional, combining traditional DM blasting and double bass with a jazzy snare work and a Meshuggah-like mechanistic approach. Vocals are perhaps the weak point, as Lemay employs a competent but fairly run-of-the-mill death growl. (He's fine, but sometimes lacks the passion and agony the music demands.) All this combines to make a brutal noise cocktail derived from typical DM, but nevertheless almost completely distinct from most examples of the genre.
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