Obtained Enslavement - _Soulblight_
(Napalm Records, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
_Soulblight_ is the second release of this gathering of Norwegian black metal musicians, following 1997's _Witchcraft_ (released through Wounded Love Records). Neither style nor sound have changed significantly; Obtained Enslavement are still dedicated to the creation of fast, intense and heavily classically-influenced black metal. Like _Witchcraft_, _Soulblight_ has several unusual characteristics. Something that stands out is the rather unusual use of piano (handled by Aeternus' bass player Morrigan) on "The Dark Night of Souls" and "Soulblight"; the result is very good. Complexity is very high most of the time, with guitars, keyboard, drums and vocals all being very busy simultaneously at high speeds -- this is music that you need to really pay attention to in order to enjoy it. The rather rough Grieghallen production takes away some clarity, but helps make the band a bit more different from the rest -- which they certainly are. Complex and inspired songwriting and aggressive and technical playing make _Soulblight_ a superb album.

(article published 7/7/1999)


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