Obtest - _Auka Seniems Dievams_
(Ledo Takas Records, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
I do receive plenty of underground releases in my mailbox every month, yet only a few of those qualify as real oddities. Obtest -- from Lithuania, of all places -- are one such oddity; not because their music is amazingly inventive and avantgarde, but because they are one of those bands that come from an unusual country and -sound- like it. What Obtest play is a form of blackened warlike metal, which they imbue with a strong folk feel -- in the same sense as a Scandinavian band, like Enslaved, might sound Viking. This is what makes Obtest sound different from the norm, as they sing in their native language and the war chants come across as rather distinctive. The band does have a penchant for some very memorable songwriting, which they display best on the album's opening couple of tracks ("Is Sirdies" and "Anapus Nemuno", if you want to know) and on "Priesa Parklupdyk". A few of the other tracks suffer from not being so memorable and simultaneously not too different from the rest of the album, but quality nonetheless remains reasonably consistent. The band are quite adept at their craft, and the production -- although somewhat odd -- works sufficiently well. _Auka Seniems Dievams_ is a disc that entirely deserves to be sought by those with a craving for a touch of the unusual in their music, especially if Viking-influenced Scandinavian bands are your thing.
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