Monday, 18 April 2011

Obscura - Omnivium (Review)



Obscura Omnivium

One northern winter I picked up a collection of Lovecraft stories. Each bitter cold morning as I stood on the station platform awaiting my train, through the overheated carriage ride to my destination I lost myself in that world of liquid darkness, strange shapes, biological anomalies, ancient unknowable knowledge and dimensions beyond human perception. The grey green, fog drenched New England countryside, the rituals and recurring Cthulu mythos gave that winter a special colour. Stepping into Lovecrafts mind, day after day re-acquainted me with a long lost pleasure: the unknown. More than the slime and tentacles, more than hairy bodied devils and inbred villages, the single most terrifying, pervasive theme is that of the unknown of time stretching beyond comprehension. As a novice Buddhist this is holds a tangible appeal for me.

The unknown is just that. It is a paradox that no matter how much time we might meditate on it, it always manages to elude us. Just when we think we have shed light on the whole, we notice the darkness beyond the reach of illumination. We stop, accept it and then later on find ourselves pondering on it again. To the same conclusion.

Obscuras Omnivium works on such a level as to suggest unknowability. The virtuosity of its participants extends the melodies, harmony and rhythms so far beyond expectation that just as they appear within reach they splinter into a billion firefly-like motes. The colours suggested by the compositions tear me into the wet embrace of Cthulu, stirring up the lingering resonance of Lovecrafts meditations on the unknown. If there truly is a worthy successor to the evocative-exotic harmony of Death, the pure science of Cynic, the intelligent swagger of Pestilence and the innovative excitement of Atheist, then it is Obscura.

Out now on Relapse, and widely available on vinyl at a fair price.
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