The cover of Obscene Entity’s ‘Lamentia’ features the furrowed forehead of a man deep in contemplation, an illustration of the album’s conceit as a treatise on ‘the fragility of the human mind and states of psychosis experienced through both subjection and self-infliction’; or so the blurb goes… I rather imagine his expression may be more akin to someone trying to list the myriad influences heard during the albums nine tracks, and running out of death metal names to drop…
Every major player makes the cut. Death. Pestilence. Morbid Angel. Check. Cannibal Corpse. Deicide. Decapitated. All present and correct. The list goes on, and on. And of course there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, on opener ‘Planetary Devastation’ it all works extremely well; brutal but melodic death, played with precision, and indeed panache. Ditto the intense title track, replete with furious blackened riffing and deranged blastbeats. ’Shadow Of Nergal’ wins plaudits for pure aggression, a thuggish riposte, which I imagine to be a genuine face-ripper live. And stand-out tune ‘Black Blood’ is good enough to sit alongside compositions by those aforementioned luminaries, dripping in bile and gore.
However on the nine track, 40 minute disc, there is a little too much filler, where the band’s influences all vie for attention and end up dirtying each other’s boots. ‘Euphoric Vanity’, flails between Decapitated and old school thrash, with not enough purpose or identity; ‘Insanity Binds’ and ‘Hymns Of The Faithless’ follow the same solid, if unspectacular path.
Nevertheless, there is enough here to suggest that Obscene Entity are capable of progressing to the next level. The playing is of the highest calibre; Matt Adnett’s guitar playing is fluid and virtuosic without being unnecessarily flashy; the rhythm section of Luke Braddick and Calum Gibb thunderously propel the whole thing along, and this is all splendidly captured by a powerful, crisp, and expensive sounding mix courtesy of Dan Abela. Rival fledgling bands take note; this is how good death metal should sound…
There is no doubting Obscene Entity have an admirable appreciation of the past masters of the genre, and the necessary chops to deliver their own classic. With a growing reputation on the live circuit, and this, a promising debut with a genuine smattering of class, under their belt, they are certainly a band to watch.
A tasty smorgasbord of death.