Obscene – The Inhabitable Dark

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Blood Harvest Records
Release: 12 June 2020
Buy Album: BH Bandcamp / Blood Harvest Records Webshop.
Band Website: Obscene Bandcamp/Facebook 

Obscene – The Inhabitable Dark
Band lineup:

Brandon Howe – Drummer/main songwriter
Josh Kappel – Guitar
Roy Hayes – Bass
Mike Morgan – Guitar

Engineered and mixed by Carl Byers at Clandestine Arts Recording
Mastered by Damian Herring at Subterranean Watchtower Studios

Tracklist:

1. Without Honor and Humanity
2. Bless the Giver of Oblivion
3. All Innocence Burns Here
4. They Delight in Extinction
5. Black Hole of Calcutta
6. Isolated Dumping Grounds
7. This is He Who Kills
8. The Inhabitable Dark

Review:

After impressing with their 2018 demo, Sermon to the Snake, Obscene make their LP debut with a renewed sense of ruthless aggression in The Inhabitable Dark. They entered Earth Analog Studios in Tolono, IL in summer of 2018 to lay down 8 tracks of death metal fury.

Not adhering to any sort of ‘caveman’ or ‘cavernous’ trend in the current climate, this album hearkens back to early Florida and Dutch death metal scene as well as nods to the U.K., Scandinavia and New York; touches of vicious thrash and riff-oriented traditional heavy metal to go along with an unhinged acidic vocal style.

The artwork provided by cult artist and legendary great Mark Riddick is one of his best works. Come with Obscene down in The Inhabitable Dark!

Despite being a tourist in the weird and wonderful land of death metal, one of my less well-explored subgenres, I still thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. After accidentally leaving my audio on full, I was pleasantly deafened by heavy riffs and double kick pedals which could strip the paint of an innocent Volvo from several hundred feet away. This band doesn’t beat (or shred, if you will) around the bush. Though I have to say I am undecided about the singer’s vocals, the pitch being a few octaves higher than expected. The most I can say is that it’s refreshingly androgynous, and lends itself well enough to the overall vibe of the tracks.

It was a cohesive listening experience. Death metal done poorly can sound like a bunch of angry, yet lethargic bees stuck inside a refrigerator. I’m pleased to report this couldn’t be more from the truth with Obscene. Their songs are sleek and purposeful, and, dare I say it, catchy? Or at least as catchy as death metal can be, of course. Black Hole of Calcutta has a particularly delicious riff throughout.

Overall a solid album which captured my interest. Maybe it’s time I got seriously into death metal.

Review by

Annalisa Orlando

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