Experior Obscura – Iter in Nebula (Review)

Experior Obscura - Iter in NebulaThis is the debut album from Experior Obscura, a one man, (and session drummer), Italian black metal act.

Apparently this is a reworked, remastered, and generally revisited and updated version of a 2015 demo. I haven’t heard the original to comment on the differences, but this version of Iter in Nebula sounds good, both musically and production-wise.

The music is textured and layered in shades of overlapping black. Elements of sludge and doom can be heard in places, although everything here is overwhelmingly black and foul. The vocals are tortured and anguished, evoking real pain and suffering. The singer has multiple voices, and all of them are used well.

Bleak and depressive, the music is full of atmosphere and emotion as the tracks unfold and plunge deeper into the black darkness with each second. Different speeds and moods are used across the paying time, and the songs are well-composed. Although the music has its aggressive aspects, this is not the main focus; black emotion is, and the music is visceral and raw in its approach to feelings. This is emotive black metal, but without any form of niceness or redeeming softness; harsh, grim, and decidedly nasty, these songs will play with your head as they go for the throat.

You can tell that a lot of time and effort has gone into these songs. Apart from the overall high standard of music and songwriting, I love the little creative ideas and flourishes that are included here and there. The artist behind this project seems particularly adept at playing subtle blackened melodies or other enhancements, (on guitar, or via other sounds/instruments), that seem separate and apart from the actual main bulk of the song, and yet somehow seamlessly fit together perfectly; like two different songs being played accidentally at the same time so that they sync up, except that there’s nothing accidental here, of course.

Iter in Nebula is an obscure underground gem, one which really develops as you listen to it repeatedly. This is elite black metal art, and I can’t recommend this highly enough.

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