After Oblivion: Vultures

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After Oblivion: Vultures
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After Oblivion: Vultures
Technical Thrash Metal
Self-released
March, 2011
Release length: 11:20
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Back in 2000, a band named Path Beyond Serenity, originating from both Boznyia and Herzegovina, issued their debut full-length album only one year after forming, leaving a legacy of a Thrash Metal act that was never signed. In 2006, the members of this group renamed the band to After Oblivion, and has been working with that monicker since. 2007 saw two releases in the form of an EP, and a split release with No Blest, both issued through Hidden Throne Records. It’s been almost four years since those two releases, and now the group brings us a new three song EP titled Vultures, clocking in at eleven minutes and twenty seconds. But, was the wait really worth it for just these three songs?

The production here definitely caters to a cleaner sound, and it works given the mixture of modern region-based sounds the band incorporates into the music at times through certain riffs, and the more aggressive old-school Thrash sound with a sleeker modern intensity. The vocals are razor sharp with a higher pitched scream that matches the overall intensity common to the style with the rest of the music. The bass here is pretty deep and present at times, though some chords give you more of a looser sound, as if bones rattling together, an approach you rarely hear since it’s hard to pull off and make it work well with the music. While it’s a nice addition, it sadly doesn’t do much here to really make an impact one way or the other. The guitars sound a little deeper too to give the music a heavier presence that sounds great against the drums that have cymbols that crash mildly loud to create a bit a slight atmosphere of authority against some woodenesque snares that are about the same volume, as well as some bass kicks that come through with a bassier thud and work to keep the music a little more blunt despite it’s overall sharper, chrisper atmosphere and sound.

And the energy here is pretty dominant as well, becoming one of the more important elements of the sound aside the technical approach, which is one reason why the bass is so loud in the first place. The problem is that the bass chords themselves don’t feel any more complex or compelling then the rest of the material. The band mixes in some of that technical sound during slower moments that will bring up acts such as Atheist and Obscura, though shifting to and from it into a traditional old-school Thrash sound when the speed picks up. This becomes the basic foundation of the music, and luckily is not followed so much to the point of repetition. The first track, “Septic Mind,” is what really showcases this general idea with a ruthless aggression that you simply cannot deny. The energy is there from start to finish, even during the slower parts of the song, and it stands out well as an homage to the more technical trend of modern Metal, but also to classic bands that made the style so commanding and rebellious. The song also does give some region specific chords at times, mostly during slower moments, but it isn’t until “Vultures” that it really becomes a stronger part of the music.

And that input really makes it stand out a little more with how well it’s worked in compared to random attempts during the other two tracks. The only let down here, and with some of “Deliverance,” is that the more complex timing pattern eats away at the energy from the band. The vocals, of course, remain the same from start to finish on this entire release, and does kind of make up for it, though not by much. Overall, “Vultures” makes it clear why the band chose this as the title for the EP, and it really does end up being a solid effort regardless of the few faults pointed out. The same can be said for “Deliverance,” though it feels more like a region-influence version of “Septic Mind” as far as the technical chord placements go, but never does it get too fast. That’s actually a bit of a let down since the band performance the intense and furious Thrash sound so well. The only argument that makes not having more then “Septic Mind” include it is that it gives the listener a good amount of variety to the EP instead of sticking to the same “intense fast pace, slower technical sound, repeat” process. However, not really allowing for some of the more complex chords or structures to appear in the faster material does end up leaving the EP to feel a little repetitive regardless, but not enough to really hurt the release.

After Oblivion has been around for quite some time, though originally under a different name, and it does show with their material on this EP. The music on the songs are tight and transition well, though the band seems to have a general idea on how to include the technical elements, and sticks to it throughout without venturing in changing that specific portion of their material up for a little variety. Vultures does have it’s faults, but it does also have a lot of good in it too, and to overlook it’s strengths for any reason would be a shame. Fans of Thrash will definitely sit back with Vultures and enjoy what the band brings to the table, but the music here shows that at this point the band still needs to grow a bit as a group and better work in the Technical Thrash offering instead of just the same way over and over like it tends to appear here. After Oblivion does show some potential with Vultures, however, and it’s a shame they decided to make this effort and EP instead of taking advantage of the four year gap and issuing more then just a three song EP. And while it may not have been the greatest delivery to their fans who waited so long for new material to be recorded, it does hold up on it’s own as a solid release that Metal fans will enjoy checking out at some point.

01. Septic Mind – 3:16
02. Vultures – 4:02
03. Deliverance – 4:02
Overall Score: 7/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by After Oblivion.