Oblivion – The Path Towards… (Unique Leader)Wednesday, 15th November 2017
Tech-death squad Oblivion first unleashed their particular sound on 2013’s Called to Rise. Unfortunately, the balance of tech dazzle to meat & potatoes riffing was a little skewed to the tech side, which resulted in an album that felt more flat than invigorating. But much can change over the course of 4 years, and The Path Towards… feels like a solid step in the right direction.
What’s immediately clear with Oblivion’s second effort is that it’s much more centered on the song itself, instead of simply mining tech riffage. Mind you, there’s still plenty of quite enjoyable tech-y stuff going on, but it’s much more integrated into the song itself. Plus there’s a solid blend of other elements that provide additional balancing – a swift uptick in brutality (nearing brutal death franticness at points), a helping of black metal influences (“Under a Dead Sun”), and some melodies that fit the sound without compromising it. A variety of vocals (as well as some guest appearances) usher in some potential on this end to round it all out. But while all of these thing point in the positive direction, there’s still something that the band lacks in, and it still tends to be hooks. As mentioned, some melodies work their way in more frequently than before, but the songs don’t leave the lasting impact that it seems like they should. There’s a lack of energy in some of the riffing (see the more mid-tempo sections of “Concrete Thrones”) that feels like it could hit a bit harder.
No denying that The Path Towards… is a competent death metal release, and a step up from their debut. However, they haven’t quite mastered putting all the pieces together to create the masterstroke of death metal that they could be capable of. But with the progression from Called to Rise, it’s quite possibly in the cards for album number three.