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ULTRA DAMAGED - review
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DISTRESS OF RUIN - review
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OBSCURE
OBSCURE
On Formaldehyde
(Dark Essence Records / Karisma Records)
51:49min

Wow... the sound of oldies never gets outdated, does it? OBSCURE, this 4-piece cherisher of the past sounds of Heavy Rock and Metal, coming from Bergen, Norway, haven't exactly done anything particularly revolutionary of groundbreaking in the fields of growing their seeds of 70s and 80s sounds better or stronger than some other newer bands of the same ink (SPIRITUAL BEGGARS comes to my mind first), but damn, they do sound very entertaining, and yet so old school. OBSCURE have captured the most essential parts of 70s and 80s Heavy Rock and Metal into the very depths of their souls - and they have done quite a remarkable work at reaching a similar feeling and vibe that are to be found from for example some BLACK SABBATH's, SAINT VTUS' and whatnot, even some MOTÖRHEAD's and IRON MAIDEN's albums. OBSCURE's clever combination of downright heavy, fast and groovy Rock'n'Roll-ish and Doom-ish parts, has proved a successful recipe for them on "On Formaldehyde" - not to mention how nice treatment they have given a THIN LIZZY song 'Massacre' on this pleasingly ear-burning debut of theirs. The band is truly on fire on their impressive debut record, and it really shows in everything they do. I'm certain OBSCURE can deliver their goods in a live situation probably even better than on any studio environment, I assume. In the meantime while hoping to see them live some day, I think I'll continue cranking up "On Formaldehyde" til I have driven my closest neighbors totally mad... ;o) www.myspace.com/obscurebergen

Luxi Lahtinen

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OBSCURE
OBSCURE
On Formaldehyde
(Dark Essence Records / Karisma Records)
51:49min

There are many OBSCURE's out there. Most are located in Germany. This particular OBSCURE is from Norway, and judging from the music they play, a band that is well acquainted with fellow Norwegians TNT, and of course, many other early Metal acts spanning the globe, including not a few Rock and Roll groups. The album, "On Formaldehyde", is not psychedelic, but that does not mean it isn't trippy. There are enough solos, melodies, slow parts, drum beats and vocal patterns to keep fans of bands like SAINT VITUS reasonably entertained. However, fans of faster bands, such as EXCITER, are in for a treat as well. The third track, 'Veins Of Steel', is MANOWAR in concept, CELTIC FROST in speed and EXCITER in chops. OBSCURE are an incredibly well rounded band, but their schooling in the Heavy Metal art can be disruptive to the flow of their album. The track after 'Vein Of Steel', is a heavily CANDLEMASS laden, sinister doom epic, evoking a completely different atmosphere from all preceding tracks. As the album makes its home stretch, the songs change in style yet again, this time becoming extremely melodic. A great album for people fond of playing games of chance. www.myspace.com/obscurebergen

Nathan Shapiro

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