Archive for December, 2014

Obtruncation: Abode of the Departed Souls

Posted in Death Metal with tags , , , , , , on December 22, 2014 by Badass and Grim

So for my first adventure into the B&G abyss we have the Holland based band Obtruncation with their offering ‘Abode of the Departed Souls’. Sounds like a cheery one then! So with a name that sounds like you’ve just detached yourself from your gentleman sausage, Obtruncation are the Death Metal flavour of kool-aid.

Time for a little history lesson about the band. Obtruncation was formed in 1989 in the Rotterdam area in Holland. Within no time they established a reputation among the fastest & most brutal bands of the underground death metal-scene. Early 1991, Lawrence Payne (Phlebotomized) joined OBTRUNCATION and added one of the most intense growling vocals ever heard. In 1999 the 12 track Obtruncation debut full length was released on a small Dutch underground label.

Right enough fannying about, let’s fire up the jukebox and see what devastation this baby can cause. Press play and boom, straight in. Hits you harder than your wife in that domestic abuse case. Well this is certainly Death Metal. Thick scooped down tuned guitars, bass that rumbles the very bowels of the earth, and enough blast beats to give war veterans shell shock all over again. The vocals have that Cannibal Corpse mix of low bowel curdling growls and higher screams like you’ve just stubbed your toe. The style reminds me of a mix of early Morbid Angel, Deicide and Death. Classic 90’s ferocity, and it works.

Forgiveness is not a word these fellas comprehend. Relentlessly punishing you with each song harder than the last time time you visited your favourite sex dungeon. The second half of the album is where it really grabs me. The songs open up a little more to include more groove which gives you something to attach to before it is dragged away. The contrast in changes in these latter song give them a greater sense of individuality, whilst the constant barrage and pace of the first few tracks makes them somewhat interchangeable.

Two stand out tracks for me are Slitting 16 and Callous Concept. Slitting 16 has a drudgy groove to the start which rears it’s ugly head throughout the rest of song to give you lifeline between barrages of blast beats and quick guitar lines. Callous Concept has the most memorable riffs of the album, with more melodic Death-esque single note lines.

Performance wise the band is as tight as a nun’s chuff and cohesive. You do get the occasional instance where the musicians fall ever so slightly behind the beat. The key part to take from that last sentence is that you can hear musicians. The record has the sound of people actually playing on it instead of some clinical cut and paste job. And hey, this shit is hard to play, so if at the end of each track I can envisage the band prolapsing through exhaustion then all the better for it.

The solos are exceptionally well played and sit as a nice embellishment to the rest of the track instead of being over indulgent fret wankery. These seem natural to the songs instead of being shoe horned in to defend the guitarists lack of manhood.

The production of Abode of the Departed Souls is definitely not big budget. More of a small or project studio, but hey times are tight. Whilst this is easily apparent in the mix, it does not distract from the songs themselves and it gives it that raw, aggressive, underground edge which actual suits the music style.

In an poor attempt at a conclusion to accredit my writing skills, I would have to say Obtruncation have overall produced a good, solid second album with Abode of the Departed Souls. Tight, cohesive and relentless. A fine example of the more visceral side of 90’s Death Metal. Whilst not genre defying, or jumping out and grabbing my attention as much as some modern bands, it does sit well among it’s peers of a higher stature. If I woke up hungover on a Christmas morn with this in my stocking would I be displeased? No. With every listen I pick out some new nuance so it’s definitely worth multiple listens. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Go out and sample it for yourselves. Make your own opinions. You’re a grown up now, just don’t make a mess.


Rating – 7.5/10