Review from Gorger's Metal

Posted by Nick Skog on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 Under: English
From: Gorger's Metal
Published: February 23, 2017

Obitus is a duo from Gothenburg, and Slaves of the Vast Machine is their second full length album.
Anders and Johan started the band in 2000, but after a demo and contributions to a split, other projects took up most of their time. Material intended for a debut was largely shelved or downright discarded as the band felt they had evolved and grown away from it. Three songs intended for the never completed album with the working title Sonnilon were experimented with and released as the EP Strategema before work on the debut The March of the Drones were initiated. 

As with the first album, Slaves of the Vast Machine consists of 45 minutes of raw and aggressive black metal. But where the debut consisted of seven songs, the music is this time collected into, or rather composed as a single seamless composition. When you learn that the album consists of a single 45 minute long song, your sceptical consciousness might just raise a few critical questions, but once you've start listening, it's a fair chance you'll simply continue at it, through all three quarters of an hour.
Whether the album was initially supposed to contain a single composition, or if the song-writing simply evolved in that direction, is an open question. The track has a natural drive with constant progression, and although this is not common within black metal, it never feels wrong. 

Slaves... is my first encounter with the Swedes, and I was quickly spellbound by their intense war machine. I don't know much about the album's concept, but they paint a dystopic scenario in an Orwellian setting. A scenario of all-encompassing denial of personal freedom in a futuristic autocratic world infected with absolute surveillance and full governmental control in a society where citizens cope with unhappiness, misery and nervousness. 

The music is completely antagonistic and entirely warlike. Expect no pit stops or breathers. Apart from a few sequences where the pace calms slightly, only constant, ill-natured and and impetuous rush is offered. Marduk would have been a typical reference. Not because of great similarities, but because of aggression, temperament and lack of respect for the speed limit. 

For a while during my first listen to the album in its entirety, I feared that boredom would eventually come crawling. Not everyone is able to pull off full throttle for three noninterrupted quarters without gradually emerging as monotonous. Obitus, however, achieve this feat in impeccable manners by providing adequate variation in sharp riffs and striking rhythms. This is authentic black metal, full of rage, disgust and eeriness. The melody lines you can dig out of the ice doesn't qualify for the term melodic, but contributes to an icy malignant mood, and the razor-sharp vocals gives a beneficial contribution to a vicious circle, spiralling straight down to Hell. 

Slaves of the Vast Machine is a fierce and fiery display of true Nordic black metal:
cutting, biting, odious, uncompromising, profane, violent, intense, hostile and militant.

Rating: 5/5
Reviewed by: Gorger

In : English 

Tags: obitus  slaves of the vast machine  obitus new album  swedish black metal  blackened death metal  dystopian black metal 

 Released: February 16, 2017
500 Copies (250 through HDR)
Genre: Dystopian / Misanthropic
Black Metal