Oblivion: Demo 2012

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Oblivion: Demo 2012
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Oblivion: Demo 2012
Technical Death Metal
Self-release
January 16th, 2012
Release length: 10:24
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There are plenty of bands out there utilizing the Oblivion name, but the one we are going to discuss today is the recently formed Technical Death Metal group from Bay Area, California. Coming from a city that is rich with Metal talent and well known for a signature style of Thrash Metal, this group came to life in 2008, and features Joe Ellis of former Light This City and former All Shall Perish fame on guitars, as well as Ted O’Neil who formerly performed in Alchemicon, and Nick Vasello from Antagony on bass and vocals. With a nice little line-up such as this, though utilizing session/live drummers it appears, the Demo 2012 release, the first for the group, stands with a decent amount of potential just in the members alone. But, does this equate to a strong demo recording that labels should take notice of?

Oblivion made sure they came out of the studio with a top-notch product here, and it’s actually a little sad to learn this release will only be available in a strictly limited run. The audio quality shows a band that put a good deal of effort and finances into it to make sure they got the high production quality they wanted, which shows very well in the heavier, yet still more digital sound of the release. The guitars have a nice weight to the distortion that makes them feel a bit grounded while boasting a bit of a higher, yet dulled edge to them. The bass guitars stand out well on here too, and sometimes that instrument can feel more important than the rest, such as throughout “Reclamation” and its obvious push with the instrument that adds an additional technical layer to the music, but doesn’t go too far with it. You also get the thick bass kicks that have a very slight click to them, which actually holds them back slightly during some of the slower moments of the recording, but the cymbals and snares both come through a little louder to compensate during those passages, filling the music well in the faster moments, but doing their best to enhance the sound otherwise. Finally there are the vocals, which are your traditional guttural style. There’s a decent range to them that ushers in some higher rasp vocals as well, but it’s about what you would expect for a band of this sound. The main thing going for them, as well as the instruments on this recording, is that you can easily feel a good deal of enthusiasm, though the vocals seem to be that way more so than anything else.

Demo 2012 is separated into just three tracks, and while the songs are solid efforts, not all of them come out with a strong enough impact. “Reclamation” is a good track that finds a steady mid-tempo pace established by the drumming, one of the two instruments that really becomes pivotal to the song’s progression. The bass here becomes pretty obvious, and ends up creating that additional layer with what feels like ease, making it a more crushing track. While the song’s faster pace does feel thunderous from the deeper audio quality, it does play a little havoc on the slower elements of the song towards the end, leaving to sound a little more open, as well as last a little too long before they fade out to “Annunaki.”

This second track has plenty in common with “Reclamation,” however the slower bits here work out a little better in the end. The song again doesn’t really have much of a show-off feel to it, keeping much of the technicality grounded among more commonly expected Death Metal chords in a tighter performance compared to anything else. This gives the faster passages a strong intensity, but the band shifting to a slower breakdown early in the song winds up working for the track. The transition in sounds great, and really seems to bring in more of a Brutal Death Metal vibe to the music. But, unlike with the previous song, that is how it winds up working. The deeper tone of the track is captured well and becomes the main focus this time around, really making it feel far more crushing in comparison. But, of all three songs here, it ends up being the final track, “Between Suns of Light” that really ends up leaving the best impact. The song has enough variety in the technical bits, a great range to the vocal performance, and intimidating riffs that feel both tighter, as well as just catchy to the point where you would want to start a mosh right where you stand. The additional blistering bass kicks handled in a tighter restrain really sound great here, and the slower passages don’t really go into Brutal Death Metal breakdown territory, feeling more natural to the flow of the song, and the brutalizing sound the group is trying to bring to this recording, not to mention how smoothly the song moves from start to finish.

The Bay Area Oblivion have a good thing going for them, and it’s pretty clear that the group is bringing in their own previous band experiences to help write the music. While the music isn’t the most groundbreaking, aside the memorable and well executed “Between Suns and Light,” you can’t help but feel that the band has the drive to issue great songs, but in the end they feel just a little too flat compared to the bite that the group can obviously carry with them. Demo 2012 is one that fans of the technical styles wouldn’t really mind checking out if they can, and it would become an acquisition that wouldn’t really just sit there collecting dust while you pondered why you even bought it. Yes, you will come back to Oblivion‘s Demo 2012, as the build up from start to finish is well worth taking.

01. Reclamation – 4:13
02. Annunaki – 3:05
03. Between Suns of Light – 3:06
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Oblivion
Oblivion

Digital review copy of this release provided by Oblivion.