(In late May Blood Harvest Records released the second album by the Indiana-based death metal band Obscene, and here we have an enthusiastic review of it by Todd Manning.)
It’s been a pleasure to watch Indianapolis-based death metal unit Obscene evolve from a scrappy and primal bunch of berzerkers on 2018’s Sermon to the Snake to the ruthless, well-oiled killing machine they are now. Their latest, From Dead Horizon…To Dead Horizon, finds these guys in prime form, with the underground theirs for the taking.
From Dead Horizon…To Dead Horizon sees Obscene taking their foot off the accelerator a bit and leaning into more mid-tempo material. In some ways, it’s a bold move in a genre that favors the extremely slow or the extremely fast, but it pays off.
“I Shall Drink the Earth’s Blood” kicks things off properly and shows them forging their identity with an absolutely killer tune. While many bands who favor these tempos (like Bolt Thrower and Obituary) opt towards simplicity, Obscene display much agility in their riff-driven attack.
But if the opener is the mission statement, the second track, “Deathless Demigod” displays Obscene at the absolute height of their power. While once again avoiding the overly simplistic, they construct a killer metal song that provides all the twists and turns that death metal is known for while also being extremely catchy. The primary riff to this song will get stuck in your head for days.
Obscene move from strength to strength as the record progresses. “Insensate Cruelty” shows they are more than capable of killing at higher speeds as well. They spend the first part of the song summoning classic Swedish death metal before slipping back into a hypnotic chugging riff. “The Burrowing Hiss” does channel Bolt Thrower but throws in alternating key changes which elevate the intensity and give the song its own unique identity.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the manic vocal work of Kyle Shaw. Partially inspired by Martin Van Drunen and John Tardy, Shaw nevertheless forges his own tone and is a definite highlight. Where most death metal vocalists try to utilize a monotone growl to portray themselves as some sort of evil god, Shaw sounds like he’s simultaneously the aggressor and the victim. There’s an urgency in his voice rarely heard in the genre.
With From Dead Horizon…To Dead Horizon, Obscene continue to grow into a masterful death metal band. With a recent tour with Morta Skuld and sharing the stage with the likes of The Accused and Deceased, hopefully the world will recognize Obscene and pay them the respect they deserve.
Very nice death metal. The singer does sound a bit like van Druren.
This band name sounds familiar. I must’ve come an earlier album. Or maybe there are more bands named “Obscene”?
This is their second album. Maybe you’re thinking of their debut from 2020? A few other Obscene’s existed in the past but none did more than a demo or two.