Oubliette – Apparitions (The Artisan Era)

Sunday, 10th August 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

While perhaps not to most, Oubliette comes across as a bit of a supergroup to this writer’s eyes. Consisting of members of Inferi (Mike Low) and Aether Realm (Vincent Jones), it seemed this one was destined to be a clear winner from the start. A mix and master job from Zak Denham (Anagnorisis) and a Bandcamp offering of some solid demo tracks (some of which re-appear here, in a shiny new finish) didn’t hurt that prediction either. None the less, Apparitions is Oubliette’s formal introduction to the world, and what a great introduction it is.

Oubliette play a melodic black/death approach that keeps savage black metal at its core with some foreboding atmosphere. Elegant tremolo picking prevails at faster tempos, providing some spiraling melodies that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the business (see “Creatures of Endless Slumber” or “The Fog”). There are frequent acoustic interludes and quieter moments that give some extra shelf life to the somewhat lengthy tracks that always stay between 5 to 8-minutes and sometimes feel like they would be at home in vintage Gothenburg (before it was tainted by pop leanings). There is a gloomy approach to these segments, as portrayed nicely by the cover art, that brings some added emotion out. No matter the speed, the music is consistently gripping and compelling. Some high marks to vocalist Emily Low as well; who emits a menacing blackened rasp yet adds some ethereal singing to some of the tracks (see “A Beautiful Suicide”) to show she’s got quite a dynamic range that will keep doors open for the band in the future.

Apparitions shows a band with plenty of potential to offer in the future. Unfortunately, seems this one is flying under the radar (just as Inferi and Aether Realm). But if you enjoy melodic black or melodic death metal, go check out Oubliette now!

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