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4.25 out of 5 skulls
June 13, 2014 | ,

Obliteration Black Death Horizon

Dudes. Obliteration. How have I not crossed paths with these Norwegian psychopaths yet?! Black Death Horizon is the band’s third full-length and the seven songs it attempts to contain are as unhinged and as manic as anything I’ve heard in recent years.

Channeling the unbridled rage from the likes of Autopsy, the technical malevolence of Morbid Angel and the sheer destructive power of Dismember, Black Death Horizon is an album not to be fucked with. “The Distant Sun (They Are the Key)” starts things off with a brooding, doomy atmosphere and slowly churning, monolithic riffs. Sindre Solem madman-like vocal delivery is unsettling to say the least as the guys progress through the doomy, eerie build-up before stomping on the throttle, letting loose with a frantic blast of berzerk malevolence at the 3:30 mark. At over six and a half minutes in run time, this opening song has more than enough old school mayhem that you can shake a freshly skinned femur at.

The fury is maintained through the onset of “Goat Skull Crown,” as guitars shred through riff after riff at a manic pace and chaotic eruptions bombard your skull thanks to burly bass lines and a rabid display on the drums. This song is all over the place — from crazed blasts to controlled frenzy. Nothing can prepare you for the bestial eruption three and a half minutes in — it’s impressive in it’s fury.

“Transient Passage” has a familiar vibe as it progresses through dissonant guitars and marching drums. “Ascendance (Sol Invictus)” throttles you with twisted riffs and more unhinged malevolence for nearly seven minutes of Hellish glory. Obliteration realize that their unrestrained attack can only be handled for so long and are wise enough to add plenty of tempo shifts throughout the album to keep everything not only interesting, but completely unpredictable. “Sepulchral Rites” is just fantastic right from the start — rabid pace, destructive delivery and aggression all packed into five glorious minutes of blasphemy.

There are few albums that are as authentic, as well written or as much fun as Black Death Horizon is. Everything about the third release from Obliteration reeks old school death metal, but without the annoying stench of rehashed material. The songs may echo hints of the original wave of death metal, but all are original and simply devastating — even the instrumental album closer. I can see why it took these guys a little bit longer to develop this album. It just needed the right amount of time to fester.

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