Release DetailsLABEL Woodcut Records
RELEASED ON 7/12/2005
First Degree Suicide
posted on 6/2006 By:
Finland is a nation with a reputation for having a gloomy outlook, which may explain why they generate so much dark and dreary metal. Even when this particular Finnish band plays death metal, there is a doomy undercurrent. I haven’t heard Obscurant’s debut album, but this release is intense, yet plodding, with bleak melodies strewn about. Most of the band members, past and present, play or played in Alghazanth, that is apparently a black metal band. I imagine that Obscurant is quite different in approach.
Hypocrisy is an easy comparison to make, as the Finns’ slow and steady tempo evokes Tagtgren’s signature sound. But of course, there is a healthy dose of Finnish synthesized flair. The synth is used as a backing instrument, avoiding the sugary melodies that countrymen CoB and Skyfire (edit: they are Swedish) are known for. Vocally, Luukkainen brings a hoarse rasp to the table and they bury it a little in the mix.
“The Redemption” opens up like a gothic doom song, very much like My Dying Bride with the drawn-out guitar line over an atmospheric synth. The speed never really picks up though, this being the doomiest song on here. “First Degree Suicide” pushes onward at a tempo that hardly budges, except for a slight shift into a chorus that features the lone clean singing on the album. That’s a shame because he actually sounds pretty good, almost like Stanne on Dark Tranquillity’s Projector.
My biggest gripe with First Degree Suicide is that it feels like Obscurant wrote a solid EP, then played it again. Their songs easily blend together, making it difficult to differentiate from one to another. For instance, “170603 (Memoir)” sounds like a continuation of “Guardian Angel”. Both are fine songs, but I only need to hear it once. This is an easy listen, comprised of pretty decent songs with a distinctive sound and isn’t too demanding on the listener. It’s up to you to figure out if that’s what you seek in an album.
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