Obtruncation - Abode of the Departed Souls
Vic Records
Death Metal
9 songs (33'16")
Release year: 2014
Vic Records
Reviewed by Alex

Just like many of you (and probably a vast majority) I have not heard of Obtruncation before. Even though I am impartial to the Dutch death metal scene, I guess I wasn’t enough of a fan at the time of Obtruncation’s first incarnation. The early 90s of the previous century were the band’s formative years, but for whatever reason the band did not progress beyond the release of a few demos and a single full-length. It takes perseverance then to be kicking it in the background for more than 20 years, rehearsing, playing gigs and composing new music, which is now seeing its light of day in the form of a new album Abode of the Departed Souls. Leave it to the homegrown vic records to help the local Dutchmen with the release.

Not even a full first listen through to the album, and it is pretty clear that Obtruncation has stuck to its old guns, siding on the side of the more brutal and technical Dutch death metal (Sinister, Pestilence) rather than paying homage to its more melodic junior partner (God Dethroned, Callenish Circle). In fact, if you own all Sinister albums, you can probably predict where Abode of the Departed Souls will be going, almost track by track. This is some pretty austere, no frills or other excesses death metal, with all of its trappings and splendor. Not brutally blasting their way throughout Obtruncation do vary and experiment with rhythms, slamming on breaks periodically (Guru, title track). The sound on the album, not being overproduced to emphasize bottom end or distorted guitar harshness, serves the band well. Whatever brutality the band possesses, and there is quite a bit of it showing through, it does not obscure Obtruncation sizeable skill with their instruments, something which would not have come if bandmembers were sitting idly by all these years. The solos and leads on the album are long and fluid (title track), take on a heroic tone sometimes (Callous Concept) or proceed in a sort of a parallel universe to the riffs creating a jazzy abstract feel (Guru).

My main trouble with Abode of the Departed Souls is its lack of memorable moments which could serve as tiny local magnets of attention. You listen to the whole album, nod in approval, and … don’t know if you want to listen to it again. There are cool groovy whirlwind moments here (Scourge of a Dying World, The Wild Chase), Guru also attempts to groove midway through, but Slitting 16 does not take full advantage of the brief doom moments, and by the time Callous Concept is over you simply do not get any more surprises at all. My note pad for Soil of Disease through Winged Death Upon Earthly Life remained untouched to let you know what else of note might be found here.

Needed to be lauded for their resilience Obtruncation may ultimately be of interest to the narrow circle of their closest friends or true Dutch death metal fanatics who know every demo and every release from the scene by heart.

Killing Songs :
Abode of the Departed Souls
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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