Release DetailsLABEL Ledo Takas Records
RELEASED ON 9/1/2005
Iš Kartos I Karta
posted on 9/2005 By:
The last Obtest album I heard, Tukstantmetis (1997), was one of the most truly authentic and primally pagan black/Viking metal releases I had heard at the time. I missed this Lithuanian outfit’s second offering Auka Seniems Dievams (2001), but was gleefully happy to drop my metalcore/deathcore obsession to review their third album, and while I really enjoyed Iš Kartos Á Kartà, I’ll admit, I’m bit disappointed.
It seems Obtest has succumbed to the cleaner, more polished and melodic sounds of the black/power metal-ish Finnish scene (Ensiferum, Wintersun, Turisas, Cadacross, Norther), not in itself a ‘bad’ thing, but considering the band's debut effort, Iš Kartos Á Kartà sounds a bit more cookie cutter and less unique. Granted, the album isn’t drenched in synths but cleaner vocals, a consistent high octane, galloping pace, solos, less folky/ethnic interludes and segues, tangible song structures all point towards a more viable release, but that being said, it is still enjoyable as Obtest still belt out some killer riffs.
Opener “Paskutine Akimirka” right off the bat, is a superb opening salvo, I mean a real eye opening killer track of majestic riffage, epic solos and rousing vocals. But the bar is set early for Obtest to try and match and only seem to do so by repetition. “Devyniaragis” follows the exact template of the opener while the title track is the first song to show some mid paced restraint. The super uplifting gait of “Pergale” is finger cramping, but starts to show the slightly repetitious if enjoyable pace of Obtest’s new found energy. “Griausmavaldys” kind of cements this feeling, while “Audronaša” seems to inject a slight hint of the band’s prior black metal ferocity before the track's grandiose finale. “Burtai” kind of epitomizes the band’s melodic Finnish gallop, losing a bit of steam as the band comes up with different variations of the same sort of pace. “Pirmyn!” is a more vitriolic, pagan sounding track and “Suminti Juodi Takai”’s slower, more menacing atmosphere works to break up the frivolity, showing that Obtest can still bare their teeth despite their slight stylistic change.
I really miss the ethnic interludes that littered Tukstantmetis, but I can’t fault Obtest for trying to expand their sound and mature, even if at the expense of musically pagan (the imagery and lyrics are still there) creativity as Iš Kartos Á Kartà is still a fine record in its own right, and certainly should open up this fine band to a wider audience.
Another solid release from Ledo Takas...
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