OBSCURE INFINITY - Putrefying Illusions (OBSCURE DOMAIN - CD 2012)
Time goes so quickly… it seems like not so long ago, when I‘ve listened to the first album of Obscure Infinity and soon later I also got a couple of split 7”EPs and their demo. I was quite impressed by this band’s music, as it was different to most of the stuff, which death metal bands are playing nowadays. Sure, their music was also rooted in the old school death metal, but it was just played differently, without so obvious traces of Swedish or American bands. Obscure Infinity has quite specific arrangements, their song structures were more complex, if I can use that word, songs were lengthier… Yeah, definitely “Dawn of Winter” was a unique album, same as Deathevokation for instance. So, I was really eagerly waiting for the second album of Obscure Infinity, hoping that “Putrefying Illusions” will exceed the debut and prove that this German band really belongs to the best underground acts of the present.
Just like “Dawn of Winter”, also “Putrefying Illusions” first caught my attention with its artwork and the whole layout of the booklet. I like what these guys are doing; using some old paintings, which are properly dark and suitable for death metal… This time they’ve used Caspar David Friedrich painting titled "Kreuz und Kathedrale im Gebirge" from 1812 and I must admit it is another good choice for the front artwork, although some of you may feel like it is too colourful at the first look, but for me it is really OK. As for the booklet, what I like about Obscure Infinity booklets is that they have so many things inside, I mean along with the lyrics there’re quite few band photos, etc… that is always nice to look at and definitely is not as boring as when I look at some other bands, which are barely able to have any booklet at all, so primitive layout they chosen to have. I can only imagine how cool would “Putrefying Illusions” look on the vinyl, but I’m afraid I’ve never seen one available to purchase; just as I’ve never seen the debut album on LP. So I must satisfy myself with the CDs, which is OK as well (always better than the soulless mp3 files anyway hehe).
I must say that in many ways I find “Putrefying Illusions” as the most complete and definitely the best recording of Obscure Infinity so far. I can say that the band has developed and their death metal is even better than it was on “Dawn of Winter”, maybe because it seems a bit more relentless and straight forward, while at the same time it also appears to be even more rooted in the old school way of the death metal playing – which is great for me. The first track for instance – “Collecting a Disastrous Sun” – seems to be the most Swedish influenced song from Obscure Infinity, which I have heard so far. It is a great track, really, and I must say that it definitely takes me back to the 90’s. Think of bands like Edge of Sanity, Centinex, Uncanny, Unanimated and Utumno… Some more Swedish traces are noticeable in another songs, but Obscure Infinity is not 100% Swedish death metal influenced band, so I can assure you that you will often be also hit by riffs or parts, which may remind you Morgoth, Asphyx, Pestilence (“Consuming Impulse”), Death (“Spiritual Healing”), Autopsy, Convulse, Purtenance and so on… More melodic patterns are often mixed with those utterly devastating and aggressive ones; slow and doomy parts will appear together with the fast, blasting devastation – although nearer the finish of the album, then I have an impression like that slow playing was taking the dominant role. “Putrefying Illusions” in all its content is well diverse and surely it is not one dimensional death metal album. There’s a lot of dynamics, variety and the atmosphere is just dark and brutal all the time through (except a couple of times, when acoustic interludes have been used – which, to be honest I sometimes find as unnecessary). And it all works very well. Maybe, what I already mentioned, towards the finishing songs the tempo has slowed down maybe a bit too much and the music also became slightly too melodic, lacking a bit of violence and aggression or the feeling from the beginning, but that impression is very small and all in all I can say that Obscure Infinity composed a solid and involving record. I can surely recommend you listening to such songs as the mentioned “Collecting a Disastrous Sun”, as well as “Ascension-Kenosis” (slow, heavy, brutal… beautiful), “Crypts of Damnation” (which may remind you bands like Purtenance or Convulse)… Good listen, definitely.
Standout tracks: “Collecting a Disastrous Sun”, “Ascension-Kenosis”
Final rate: 80/100