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An extremely technical death metal band from Munich, Germany, Obscura were founded in 2002 by vocalist/guitarist Steffen Kummerer, who purportedly took the name from a 1998 album by Canada's influential Gorguts — one of his inspirational touchstones, along with Cynic, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, and others. Kummerer spent the ensuing years composing the songs that would comprise Obscura's 2006 debut album, Retribution, bypassing the traditional extreme metal process of distributing demos and performing in clubs along the way. Even his supporting cast during the album sessions — guitarist Markus Lempsch, bassist Jonas Fischer, and drummer Jonas Baumgartl — were merely hired guns who would be subsequently dispensed with after its independent release to widespread rave reviews — so raving, in fact, that Kummerer and his pet project quickly became the objects of a metal label bidding war before signing with the highly respected Relapse Records for the release of the Obscura's second album, Cosmogenesis. This too met with overwhelmingly positive response within the metal community, and benefited from a new lineup of virtuosos including guitarist Christian Münzner and drummer Hannes Grossman, formerly of respected German techno-deathsters Necrophagist, plus legendary Pestilence bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling.