Obtenebrate is the first full-length from Norwegian black metallers Enthral since 2003. They were oft-overlooked compared to other bands in the Norse scene, but they had a pretty distinctive style (and their outstanding Prophecies of the Dying still does). Obtenebrate is a long affair, and consistently dark, heavy, and oppressive. The riff lexicon is a deft mix of black and death metal, leaning more to the black metal side. The vocals are suitably gravelly, sometimes breaking into more death metal territory, but are not terribly varied - as a result, the focus is on the dark, nihilistic, hate-filled music.
If I have one small qualm with this album, it’s that the songs sort of run together. Mainly, this is because most sections seem to have vocals over them (that is, there aren’t many instrumental sections to let the music breathe and develop a lot), and it’s essentially riff-salad construction. That said, the material itself is so strong that the issues in composition actually don’t make much difference - it’s still a good album, mostly because of the riffs and ideas present, the band just have room to improve and tighten the screws, so to say, on the next outing.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]