Although unable to play live for over a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Indianapolis based death metallers Obscene were still fortunate enough to release their debut album The Inhabitable Dark in mid-2020. Finally back on stage last year, the four-piece didn’t hang around, taking the time to write the bleakly titled follow-up From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon (Blood Harvest).
Opening with a rare quiet moment, intro ‘From Dead Horizon…’ combines darkly played clean guitar over a rumbling storm and the sound of disembodied voices before ‘I Shall Drink the Earth’s Blood’ arrives with a looming riff backed with tortured vocals, punishing groove and raging speed. Opening with a sample lifted from classic eighties vampire film Near Dark, it doesn’t take long for ‘Deathless Demigod’ to explode into thrashing death metal fury and for ‘Faith Through Pain’ to continue the aural slaughter, the song opening with a thunderous intro from drummer Brandon Howe.
The neck bursting ferocity of ‘Insensate Cruelty’ follows, vocalist Kyle Shaw sounding like someone desperately trying to turn themself inside out for some reason. ‘The Burrowing Hiss’ features technical brutality in the vein of Floridian legends Death while ‘Shrew’s Nest’ is a numbing blur of speed, tormented gurgling, and chainsaw riffs courtesy of guitarist Mike Morgan. ‘Children of the Static’ is another unrelenting blast of electric mayhem, as is the death grunt-assisted ‘Open Grave of a Forgotten Past’, the album closing with the melodic strains of outro ‘…To Dead Horizon’.
Recorded by Noah Buchanan (Nunslaughter) and mastered by Dan Swano (Bloodbath), From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon bulges at the seams with towering doom riffs, surging groove sections and some very capable fretwork from bassist Ron Hayes. More room could have been made for the impressive Morgan to strut his six string stuff, and Shaw’s strained, rasping vocals could be higher in the mix but those are really just two minor quibbles on an otherwise pleasingly violent blast of death metal energy.
7 / 10