Obliveon - _Cybervoid_
by: Alain M. Gaudrault (
A friend of mine made the astute observation that Obliveon want to be Voivod. Now that may very well be so, but in my opinion, they're doing a damn fine job of making phenomenal music in the process. _Cybervoid_ is the third outing from these Montreal technical-deathsters-come-cyber/groove-metallers, and may well become my top pick of 1996. Sure, there are heavier albums out there, and I love them as well, but Obliveon seem to have found the perfect blend of aggression, technicality, and groove, combined with a harsh, yet mechanically melodic vocal deliver thanks to newcomer Bruno Bernier. The production, thanks to guitarist Pierre Remillard, is thick yet clear, and very guitar-heavy, with ambient electronic bits used often as a percussive element. The drumming is solid and diverse, hardly boring, but the massive guitar riffs so excellently crafted and molded into cohesive structures simply flatten me. I've had an advance copy of this album for a number of months, and I've recently come back to it to write this review. It still blows me away. A word of warning to old fans of the band, though. Obliveon is not pursuing death metal any longer, as is evident in their choice of new vocalist, who seems to be coming from a death background while adding a sense of melody uncommon to the average death vocalist. If you're expecting brutal death metal, or even technical death, you might be disappointed, although perhaps not if you aren't averse to a healthy infusion of speed metal and groove. My favourite cuts off the album are "Sombre Phase" and "Biomecanique", both of which would make good choices as potential singles, although the latter's inclusion of French lyrics might prevent it from being so. All in all, _Cybervoid_ is heavy, and has enough originality to impress the cynic in me. If you're able to sample this album in your favourite music store, do so. Then buy it.
(article published 9/6/1996)
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