Viscera – Obsidian (Review)

Viscera - ObsidianViscera are a deathcore band from the UK and this is their debut album.

Featuring ex-members of Sylosis, Heart of a Coward, Martyr Defiled, Nervecell, Surfaces, and Abhorrent Decimation, Obsidian contains 36 minutes of modern brutality.

The music is dynamic and memorable. Although thoroughly contemporary in delivery, it nonetheless succeeds in combining old-school death metal songwriting smarts with elements of groovy metalcore, savage deathcore, and technical extremity. A mix of Meshuggah, Thy Art Is Murder, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Divine Heresy is a good general place to start from for an idea of what Viscera sound like.

The band are clearly as proficient as they are experienced, and the songs swerve from simplistic groove to monstrous technicality, although some of the best sections are when the two are effectively merged. Atmosphere and melody collide with ripping aggression and thundering blast beats. Keyboards and synths add texture and feeling, tastefully integrated into the aggressive chaos. There are some blinding solos here too.

The vocals are notably performed, and run from extreme death growls to emotive cleans. It’s done in such a way that it sounds natural and unforced, and the way the cleans exist in response to the rest of the music and vocals means that they don’t seem out of place at all, despite not normally being found in a band like this. Guest vocals also appear from members of Bound in Fear, Bleed from Within, Brand of Sacrifice, and Osiah.

Viscera’s brand of crushingly heavy brutality, well-earned emotive components, and epic darkness provided by the well-used keyboards, all help to make Obsidian as compelling as it is. With the songs learning from the past and forged into exemplars of the present, this is the type of modern extremity that keeps this sort of music feeling vibrant and fresh.

Viscera are clearly a band that aren’t content to be just one thing, and their music displays several facets of heavy music. While embracing a range of different influences, Viscera effortlessly weave together a coherent and highly enjoyable record of blistering extreme metal.

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