The first three Obliveon recordings were machinated, beyond psychedelic thrash metal albums with just enough of a corroded edge to titillate the particularly excited death metal crowd of the early 90’s age. The theme was always science fiction even when they transformed into a Canadian version of Fear Factory. Canada has it’s own technical approach to musical weirdness that is highly expressed in its extreme metal output. Voivod‘s DNA contributions to metal were absolutely crucial in giving voice to Obliveon’s early intentions but perhaps less than the hand drawn sci-fi cover art suggests. Atheist and Sepultura likely had just as much influence over their musty, mid-paced progressive thrash riffing.
‘From This Day Forward’ is exactly my feels-good edge when gauging how technical and meandering heavy metal can be before I lose interest. Each song returns to a central theme at least twice and this lends crucial memorability for a songs that are minimally recorded. The remastered version makes heavy, mosh-worthy songs like “Droidomized” show themselves a little more, but the drum sound makes it sound aged. I don’t mind, I actually like the slightly echo-y reverb in the mix. This is my favorite era of music and it -should- sound like an album from 1990. Again, the remastered version is superior unless the slightly more lo-fi option is listenable.
Outdoor walking, hiking, the act of being outdoors and other general exploration is always better with a soundtrack. I always choose a record like this for a trip with a lot of twists and turns. The space-jam swagger of the sometimes punkish riffing is mysterious and compliments Winter weather. Judging by the recent and long-standing popularity of groups like Vektor, Voivod and Atheist it has always baffled me that folks don’t latch onto Obliveon’s unique and atmospheric take on the thrash metal genre. There is nothing else like it and the intention and execution of the music is really world class.
Don’t stop there, though. If you want a 50/50 death/thrash splice, you really should listen to their second album ‘Nemesis‘, too. These two albums represent the best sort of discography from young extreme metal talent; highly idealized sound, incredible speed and compositional complexity. I lost interest once they chose to simplify their sound into a more accessible mix of sci-fi themed groove metal with some death metal elements. It is all surprisingly decent stuff, better than Samael, Fear Factory or whatever, but the first two records are the most compelling.
|Listen to the album on YouTube||Obliveon on Metal-Archives|