Oblivion – Called to Rise (Unique Leader)Friday, 18th October 2013
All sorts of nice resume stats in Oblivion: An All Shall Perish cast-off, a professor of music/modernist composer, a guitar player working toward his PHD in mathematics, and a drummer being trained by jazz funk musicians. Impressive. Credentials aside, the background of the five lads that comprise of Oblivion (one of the more overused names in metal) don’t a good album make, unfortunately, as Called to Rise ends up as a pretty bland modern technical death metal offering. This is what hype does: It throws perspective out of whack.
Being that the band resides on Unique Leader, a certain amount of technicality was sure to be present, and it is – the riffs are nimble, boisterous, and played with a deft amount of dexterity. Flip it around, and a lot of these ideas don’t stray too far from any number of musically-inclined death metal outfits ala Obscura, Decrepit Birth, and for old times sake, Necrophagist. The trajectory of cuts like “Black Veils of Justice” and the blindingly-fast “Between Suns of Light” often jostle for position (and attention), but lack sufficient hooks, while the dissonance and overriding vocals on “Binary Souls” are lukewarm at best. It’s quite difficult to find anything to latch onto during the constant maelstrom; perhaps the slowed lurch of “Cancer of Wraiths” will suffice, or the clean guitar intro to “Multiverse” work in some way.
Technical death metal can sometimes be really stiff, which Called to Rise mostly is. One would like to see Oblivion not to be so concerned with running circles around everyone with their riffs, but such things are bound to happen when you bring five uber-talented musicians together.