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An innovative heavy metal group from the Bavarian town of Landshut, Germany's Obscura employ a heady and jarring blend of technical death metal and progressive thrash that drew accolades with the release of their 2006 debut album, Retribution. Featuring a rotating cast of virtuoso players, guitarist and vocalist Steffan Kummerer (known for his custom-shaped, seven-string Ran guitar) is the group's sole constant member, and he has steered the black ship Obscura for over a decade, issuing singular extreme metal outings like Omnivium (2011) and Diluvium (2018) that are as inventive as they are punishing.
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 subsequently be dispensed with after its independent release to widespread rave reviews -- it was so well-received that Kummerer and his pet project quickly became the objects of a label bidding war before signing with the highly respected Relapse for the release of the Obscura's second album, Cosmogenesis. This too met with an overwhelmingly positive response within the metal community, and benefited from a new lineup of elite players including guitarist Christian Münzner and drummer Hannes Grossman, formerly of respected German techno-deathsters Necrophagist, plus legendary Pestilence bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling.
The group issued the well-received Omnivium in 2011 before even more lineup changes were announced. Bassist Linus Klausenitzer replaced Thesseling shortly after the album's release, drummer Sebastian Lanser joined for a 2014 tour, and guitarist Tom Geldschläger came on board. The band's first recorded date with this roster was Akróasis in early 2016. Young, virtuosic jazz guitarist Rafael Trujillo was recruited in 2015, and made his studio debut on the group's fifth long player, 2018's Diluvium. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
- Landshut, Germany
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