Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reader Submissions: After Oblivion: Stamina

One of my favorite albums by Death is The Sound of Perseverance.  This is important and relevant to any discussion on After Oblivion's newest release Stamina.  Because if I were to play this to someone without telling them who it is, they would probably guess Death on their long-awaited follow-up to that album.  I am very sorry for the bad joke there.  But seriously this album sounds almost exactly like the Death swansong.  It is certainly not unusual for a band to try to copy a sound, bands do it all the time.  It is just weird how closely this band came.  The only thing really missing is the overwhelming feeling of loss that Death had on that final album.

After Oblivion is from Bosnia and Herzegovina, not exactly a heavy metal hotbed.  I think they may be the first band I have heard from there.  This is the band's debut album after a couple of smaller releases.  It is a very good debut if you can get around the whole sounds-exactly-like-Death thing.  They definitely play up their influences on this release.

If you had not already guessed, After Oblivion play a kind of progressive death metal with some thrash metal riffs thrown in from time to time.  The music is fast and melodic with riffs and leads that seem ripped directly from Death.  Even the vocals sound very much like Chuck Schuldiner on the last few Death albums.  There are frequent tempo changes, again a throwback to Death.  After Oblivion never let one riff last too long before they are off to the next one or completely shift tempos.  The result is an ever-changing album that is very easy to get lost within.  The one word that comes to mind over and over to me to describe this is incendiary.

The songs tend to fly by in the blink of an eye.  And with the fact that the band is never really content to sit still on one riff or melody for very long, it seems like it goes by even faster.  The songs also feature unusual structures, not your typical verse-chorus-verse structure.  This leads to a little bit of a problem when it comes to the memorability of the album and individual songs.

After Oblivion have some things to work on.  It would be nice to see them grow out of sounding so much like Death, and writing some more memorable material would also be helpful.  But this band has a ton of talent and it must be remembered that this is only their debut full-length.  That is shockingly impressive.

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