The fourth times a charm apparently, going by German technical death metal act Obscuras latest release. Their work to date has been strong, but this years album release Akroasis really finds the group coming into their own.
The intricate musical passages of this track are nothing short of spectacular. The bizarre, woozy chord progression that kicks it off and reoccurs throughout, really takes this cataclysmic song into another dimension. The main hook is a killer riff that they pile on top of it, helping to keep the song somewhat grounded, leaving it floating in between earthy tones and spacey explorations.
They build the track up with multiple layers of instrumentation, often interchanging musical passages on a whim. This dynamic way of bringing sections to the forefront of the mix and then subsiding them, creates an air of unpredictability in the song. Another one of The Monists greatest attributes is in the way that the band go off on tangents, all while retaining the songs core identity. The outro for example finds the band resuscitate the main hook for one last war cry in a seamless transition, a feat that Obscura effortlessly achieve again and again on this mammoth composition.
Its heavy but not overpowering. Its a technical masterpiece but not at the expense of listenability. Its a delicate balancing act of different musical elements and its a progressive gem that keeps on giving, and thats why its our number one metal song of 2016 so far.
What have been your favourite metal songs of 2016 so far? Let us know in the comments!
Music Journalism graduate and freelance writer from Northern Ireland, who enjoys scouring the music archives for the best sounds from the past and present. Writer for the awesome publications WhatCulture, Metal Injection, Scribol, The Gamer, and Prefix.