ReviewsObscene – Agony & Wounds (Nameless Grave Records)

Obscene – Agony & Wounds (Nameless Grave Records)

The chaos of death metal captures many followers who desire the heaviest, most brutal forms of music conveyed in tight windows of emotional fury. Obscene is another Midwest act from the new generation – although its members have seasoning through other outfits like Acheron, Mother of Graves, and Summon the Destroyer. Their debut EP Sermon to the Snake came out in 2017 – followed by two albums on Swedish label Blood Harvest. Now moving forward on Nameless Grave Records, Agony & Wounds as the key third full-length should set the stage for upward ascension in this style, the eleven tracks savage though intent, the blitzkrieg of riffs, intense drumming, plus caustic growls/screams ideal for those who love a mix of US / European influences, especially those embedded in the 90s to early 2000’s movement.

Between the sinister, chainsaw-like intensity of the guitar work from Mike Morgan and the pummeling drum kit masterclass put forth from Brandon Howe, there’s a boatload of aural hooks, runs, and jackhammer action to pour through. The mid-tempo death knell groove penetrating “Death’s Denial” only to be ramped up to semi-blasting levels, the early At the Gates meets Brutality madness that churns at shifting paces for “Watch Me When I Kill”, all the way through the sick Swedish-style guitar harmonies in tandem with Kyle Shaw’s seething, acidic Obituary on Asphyx vocal stylings on personal favorite “Oceans of Rot” – this record covers all the bases in textbook death metal fashion. Stop / start accents even give bassist Roy Hayes a chance to obliterate ears in low frequencies with his mechanics on the whirlwind “The Reaper’s Blessing”. When choosing to accentuate the doom side of death, the title cut closes proceedings in that haunting darkness with riffs that melt the sky, Kyle purposely measured in his bone chilling word delivery out of the tombs – the piano parts encourage the classical-oriented guitar break to add more melody to this magnificent arrangement.

Brad Moore (Gatecreeper, Tomb Mold) gives Obscene an interesting cover art piece that will have eyeballs looking deep into those hidden nooks, also setting the band apart from the typical ‘blood / zombie’ themes others may prefer. Agony & Wounds has the original spirit, attitude, and raw purity as driving forces to be a satisfying platter – hopefully allowing the group to gather more followers into the death metal landscape.

Obscene on Facebook

8 / 10