Obscurity - _Várar_
(Trollzorn, 2009)
by: Colleen Burton (4 out of 10)
This incarnation of Obscurity involves Germans who take up dramatic black metal names to play their brand of Amon Amarth-styled Viking metal. At first glance, the major musical elements appear to be favorably coalescing, from the conviction of Agalaz' vocals to the raucous and relentlessly paced guitars, yet you'll be searching vainly for the rawness behind the work of Amon Amarth themselves; a main comparison emerges between analogous work coming from the dominant rhythm section, the interweaving of brutality with melody. Yet undoubtedly Hegg towers above Agalaz as regards the vocal approach by conveying more clarity and emotion in his style.

In spite of the faster morsels, _Várar_ is rarely a fist-pumping, call-to-arms sort of album, rather bordering on their self-proclaimed melodic black style at times with sweeping, tremolo-picked sections. "Battle Metal" serves as a reasonably good exception to this rule, but then "Varusschlacht" winds up imitating Finntroll with its bouncy sort of guitar work and raw vocals before ramping up into a braying yet undeniably catchy chorus. "Wer Wind Sät" is quite powerfully melodic, as is the title track, resembling paeans to the Teutonic gods. The album would be much improved if they had thrown in more leads and differing tempos, because even though the rhythms are great, they're not really up to par compared with some of their contemporaries, although they did offer "Blut Und Feuer" as a remarkable finale to _Várar_.

While hardly a jaw-dropper of an album, _Várar_ is quite difficult to out-and-out dislike, being a pleasant album that appeals to the sensibilities of many metal listeners; each instrument is well-mixed, generally becoming noticeable and then shifting to the background at appropriate moments. But Obscurity draws some criticism as it is hard to discern the black elements in this rather generic release. Borrowing heavily from the rough-edged Scandinavian sounds of Amon Amarth, _Várar_ will send you straight back into the arms of the familiar for superior atmosphere and craftsmanship, alone.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/obscuritybergischland

(article published 4/11/2009)

6/18/2009 Y Zhu Obscurity: Swedish Death Metal
10/12/1999 P Azevedo 3 Obscurity - Damnations Pride
3/14/1999 A Wee 9 Obscurity - Ovations to the Death
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