Technical metal for the sake of being technical? That certainly could be a fitting summary of Germany's fleet-fingered metal act Obscura, who forgo anything resembling melody in favor of shredding and good old-fashioned noise -- as evidenced throughout their debut album, Retribution, which was remastered/reissued by Relapse Records in 2010 (with a few bonus tracks tacked on). Retribution remains one fierce beast -- full of so much stop-start riffing that those who are prone to motion sickness should proceed with the utmost caution. Add to it some oh-so-delightful death metal-esque vocals, and you have an album that is sure to please the most ardent extreme metal enthusiast. Looking for variety? You've come to the wrong place. But if you're looking for a pretty darn intense metallic attack from front to back, then Obscura's Retribution is worthy of some close inspection.
by Greg Prato