Obtest - _Is Kartos I Karta_
(Ledo Takas, 2005)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (7 out of 10)
Alongside their Latvian brothers in arms Skyforger, Lithuania's Obtest are a Baltic home brand when it comes to quality underground metal. These pagan warriors had already made a lasting impression with their previous releases: _Tukstantmetis_ and _Auka Seniems Dievams_ simply oozed blackened metal with an epic feel and unmistakable Baltic atmosphere.

Their newest release, _Is Kartos I Karta_ ("From Generations to Generation") displays all of the band's strong points and manages to surprise quite a lot too. Obtest dubbed their new stylistic direction "heathen war heavy metal", and that description seems to be about as accurate as it gets. This is rather speedy, energetic heavy metal with a strong black influence easily recognizable in many of the fastest riffs. The guitar themes are quite varied, with many of them carrying a notable folkloric touch -- and I bet those melodies are actually used for accompanying traditional Lithuanian dances, which is, of course, what one might expect from a traditionally inclined band such as Obtest. In accordance with that, the vocals are almost exclusively clear, with many of the tracks based on catchy choruses sung in the musicians' native tongue.

My only real objection to _Is Kartos I Karta_ is the breathtakingly fast pace of the album -- from the opening track "Paskutine Akimirka" to the closing chapter "Suminti Juodi Takai", it's always the same galloping through the pagan vastlands, making the album a tad monotonous. Apart from that, fans of the Baltic and Eastern European scene will find this album a most delightful listen -- I know I did. Last but not least, a limited edition of 1000 copies comes as an A5 cardboard photo album, which sounds exactly like the heathen present one would want for the winter festivities.

Contact: http://www.ledotakas.net

(article published 7/12/2005)

7/3/2002 P Azevedo 7.5 Obtest - Auka Seniems Dievams
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