Friday, 10 February 2012

Obscure Infinity - Dawn of Winter

OBSCURE INFINITY - Dawn of Winter (OBSCURE DOMAIN Productions - CD 2010)
Oooookkkkeeyyyy, it’s time I think to write some words about „Dawn of Winter”! Finally, because I’ve purchased this CD few months ago, already gave it a huge number of listens, but never have been in a proper mood to actually write the bloody review. So, today I’m either going to finish this shit, review the album or I’m going to eat this piece of plastic for my supper. And trust me, I don’t want to eat plastic, so that should encourage me enough. So, Infinity Obscure… German band, bla bla bla… I already introduced them to you enough I think in the interview with the guitarist Stefan few weeks ago, as well as when I reviewed the demo “Into the Depths of Infinity”. “Dawn of Winter” is a debut full length, released in 2010 through Obscure Domain Productions, which is totally unknown label for me, but they do have some interesting stuff in their roster – apart from Infinity Obscure there’s Torture Throne, Immersed In Blood and Volturyon for instance (does it surprise you I’ve mentioned two Swedish bands?). Besides, I’ve found out that this is a label run by a guy who used to do really cool fanzine called Unholy Terror.
First look at the CD and man… I do fuckin love the whole layout of “Dawn of Winter”, it is awesome. First it is the excellent front cover, which is a painting by Harald Pichler, based on Carl Georg Hasenpflug’s “Klosterruine Im Winter”, which also appears in the inlay card. The booklet has also many band photos, lyrics, so everything I like. I hate, when I get a simple and basic booklet, I have a feeling that I should have gotten the mp3 and wouldn’t miss anything, while in case of albums like “Dawn of Winter”, which have nicely designed and detailed booklets it’s something extra you get with the music. Of course I wish I could have a vinyl copy, but unfortunately I missed it and it was limited to 350 copies only. Well, maybe one day a copy will pop up somewhere...
This is death metal. Yeah! Infinity Obscure is old styled, classic death metal band, but their music isn’t so easy to label or compare, as they are quite different from all those ultra brutal bands as well as all those Autopsy clones around. Just imagine that the first riff from the opening song “Sacrificial Ritual” reminds me Vader totally, but then it all changes and because Infinity Obscure isn’t as fast and relentless as those Poles, this resemblance disappears quickly. “Dawn of Winter” is much more atmospheric and mid paced. Actually I have a feeling that the main goal this band had when composing the music was to achieve a sort of dark and gloomy atmosphere, using relatively melodic and sinister riffs and they have definitely succeeded in it. There may be some similarities to bands like Morgoth, Grave, early Tiamat, early Immolation, but combining so many different influences and addition of something unique results in Obscure Infinity’s originality. Besides, there’s also a huge similarity in many parts to the old Swedish death / black metal scene, but I’ll comeback to that later. And on top of that the vocals as well as some parts remind me the Polish Damnation, which is great I think, although Obscure Infinity isn’t as vicious and mad as those Poles were.
I said that the music is quite atmospheric and mostly midpaced, but mind that there’s absolutely no trace of boredom on “Dawn of Winter”. It’s really well composed and arranged, with many diverse parts, ranging from those more melodic ones (“In the Depths Below”) to the blasting ferocity (“Sacrificial Ritual”, "Everlasting Fires"), sometimes with the addition of black or even doom metal elements. Songs like “Transmitting Life to Darkness” and “Everlasting Fire” with its almost melancholic and harmonious riffing reminds me very much also the good old No Fashion catalogue and bands like Vinterland, Sacramentum, Dawn! OK, those bands were much more black metal influenced, but the riffing are quite similar, maybe not as fast, but really similar, especially the ending bit of “Transmitting Life to Darkness”, with that acoustic, etc. All songs from “Dawn of Winter” are quite lengthy, but Obscure Infinity managed to keep them interesting, with many variations within each track, there’s always a lot of things going on within one composition, so I must say that the album is really well composed and structured. And it’s all even more diversified with two instrumental passages in between the songs (acoustic “Foreshadowing of a Coming Storm” and “The Firmament Breathes Eternal Tranquillity”).
I also like the production of “Dawn of Winter”, which is very old school, avoiding the modern plastic sounds and triggering. It’s actually very warm and organic. Finally I must say that the lyrics from the album belong to some of the best ones I’ve read recently, they’re totally antichristian or antireligious, but well written and with many great lines like “The dawn of winter reaches my life. These woods shall be my grave. Let my soul wandering through the trees free from humanity”. I know it may sound quite cliché but I really like them! Actually, you know what? I like the whole album a lot and so I must recommend it to you all. I know that “Dawn of Winter” doesn’t really sound like all those other old school death metal releases around, but that doesn’t mean they’re worse. Get it if you will then and support Obscure Infinity.
Standout tracks: “Sacrificial Ritual”, "Everlasting Fires", “Transmitting Life to Darkness”
Final rate: 85/100

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