ALBUM REVIEW: Streitmacht – Obscurity

German blackened death group OBSCURITY are bordering on the release of their eighth full-length album Streitmacht, which will mark the band’s 20th anniversary. Over the last two decades OBSCURITY have depicted strong Nordic themes throughout their music and on first preview of the album cover, it seems the band has no intention of discarding this theme. On the other hand, the two decades have brought change to the band members, as Arganr is no longer pounding the drums, but Draugr is instead. Will this change in band lineup remodel the overall sound of OBSCURITY?

The album kicks off with 793, which has a brief unsettled approach, before introducing thundering vocals from Agalaz and a menacing riff that takes centre stage throughout the song. The track itself is a pure burst of energy with a melodic approach and a bold overall tone. A good start to the album.

The second track Meine Vergeltung enters on a more subdued note, however it manages to build up that energy into a very catchy song, with a punchy chorus. The interval of a choppy breakdown and overlying melody mid way really adds to the song and gives it an emotive feel about it. OBSCURITY manage to fool the listener into thinking the song has finished, before breaking out acoustic guitars and it makes a really beautiful finish.

Streitmacht seems to take an alternative route, as fifth track Hinrichtung takes more of a grim black metal approach. This song is filled with unrelenting blast beats from Draugr and the intricate tremolo picking from Dornaz and Cortez really whips the song into life. This contrasting song is a great addition, as it shows that OBSCURITY are capable of producing something solid, regardless of the musical direction.

Seventh track Endzeit, really show cases how OBSCURITY are able to produce a song that’s somewhat simple, however make it sound massive. This is one song that would really carry well when played live – a very catchy chorus and well structured song, which maintains the listeners’ engagement. The crushing, ruthless vocals from Agalaz are the driving force here and having intervals of just vocals is a great way to break the song up and build up tension. Pure energy from start to finish. We are treated to much the same over the next three tracks, but by no means boring, every song is slightly different and a surge of energy.

OBSCURITY have delivered an enjoyable album, packed with sheer energy and savagely beautiful. Streitmacht is the kind of album that would be received well when played at a live show, purely because of the energy and it would be reflected back from the crowd for sure. To help mark OBSCURITY‘s 20th anniversary, it would be great to see them tour and if so, fingers crossed OBSCURITY will make the UK shores in the near future.

Rating: 8/10

Streitmacht - Obscurity

Streitmacht is set for release on July 14th via Trollzorn.

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