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Epiphany (2014)

For a truly frightful night in by the fire then you need to check out the latest rough ’n’ ready demo cassette from Finnish mutants Obscure Burial. Most definitely a demo that will take those old enough among you back to the tape trading days, Epiphany is a grim old school infection passed on from members L.K. (vocals / guitar), M.H. (guitar), M.F. (bass) and K.S. (drums).

These guys formed in 2012 out of Turku and they’ve been extremely active causing various rumbles within the death / black metal underground. Obscure Burial debuted with the Necrophagous Rehearsals four-track demo soon after their formation, a demo that was later repacked as God’s Abomination and released via Invictus Productions in the same year. And now we have another trip into the realms of hate, war, raw meat and general disgust.

Epiphany offers some truly disturbing sounds which come via some truly inhospitable and mulch-ridden vocal garbles which are sort of wrapped up in a lo-fi clank as if one has literally leapt into the bowels of a scrap metal yard! Nasty, fast guitars coupled with an avalanche of apocalyptic percussion and we have a rather unhealthy batch of songs.

The demo opens with ‘Night Queen’ and its whining, distorted guitar sound wrenched straight from granny’s garage and a drum tumble which sounds as if the skinsman has just fell off his stool. It’s all such a messy clatter, but one cannot argue with the primitive nature of the four songs which cause rumble after rumble as L.K. gurgles, barks and rids his lungs of wads of phlegm over that sordid barrage of angst-ridden, oil-coated noise.

I’d certainly agree with the press release in saying that this takes us back to the early days of Possessed, but then again Obscure Burial are more than happy to jump head first back to that time when young bands were sporting bullet belts, spiked wristbands and enough acne to keep the local chemist happy.

This is good, unfriendly violent fun indeed, played extremely fast and raw with ‘Dweller In The Abyss’ offering some sign of rusty melody. It’s a basic death / thrash by numbers ritual we would have heard millions of times back in 1984, but it still comes up trumps due to its naivety. Indeed, watching the guys go through their paces in recording this demo must have been quite a sight; their energy cannot be questioned as murky solos attempt to squirm their way out of the suffocating hold of the belligerent drums and unearthly bass rattles.

‘Daemonic Incantation’ is exactly that; a track which begins in septic fashion of obscure whispering and mournful tuning before becoming another tumultuous ramble of pits and pans cast from the pits of smoky hell. An album from this band may well be too much to take for some, as variety most certainly isn’t the spice of life for this quartet.

The demo ends its brief reign via the torturous gloom of the title track which begins with a decent, albeit almost indiscernible riff buried beneath the debris of the fluffy production and K.S.’s lawless drumming.

If you can find something memorable or even a tad engrossing within this pile of blasphemous rubble then good for you, because although this demo takes me back to my youth, I hear no real spark to suggest that Obscure Burial are going to be anything better than the levels of mulch they’ve created.

For those of you interested, the Epiphany demo cassette is available from Invictus Productions here.

Neil Arnold

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