ALBUM REVIEW: Obscura – A Valediction


The talent is evident and the production quality ever-present.

There are shining moments with songs that develop character and identity.

But the abundance of what comes off as shredding for the sake of it, and apparent filler shoe-horned in, tamps down the overall significance of Obscura’s A Valediction (Nuclear Blast).

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Steffen Kummerer’s Obscura Parts Ways the Rest of his Band Members

Seems like we’ve seen this movie before. Tech death masters Obscura and its leader Steffen Kummerer has parted ways with guitarist Rafael Trujillo, bassist Linus Klausenitzer and drummer Sebastian Lanser due to “musical differences”. The departing members will launch a new band Obsidious. Kummerer made the announcement on social media. Continue reading

Obscura – Diluvium

Reviewing technical death metal is always a double-edged sword, on the one hand, it sounds ace, but it requires some sort of advanced music qualification just to try and explain what on earth is going on. Anything labelled tech or prog is setting a pretty high bar for oneself, tech can often be an excuse for a band to push themselves to such heights of fretboard gymnastics it becomes inaccessible to most listeners, and prog can often descend into a ‘make sure you include the kitchen sink’ tick box exercise that it becomes formulaic. Continue reading

Thulcandra – Ascension Lost



Anyone that has ventured into the Thulcandra back catalogue has probably noticed this German black metal band seem to exist as a living shrine to one of the former giants of the genre. Although their Dissection worship has decreased with every release, recent album Ascension Lost (Napalm) has not truly shaken off the homage to the band, with veins of Reinkaos (Black Horizon) rippling throughout.

Despite being inspired by such revered material, Ascension Lost leaves very little impression. Lacking any distinct identity or style of its own, the material passes by you with only vague echo of a few musical moments really standing out at the end. Ascension Lost falls into the trap of becoming black metal by numbers, filling in all the tremolos and blasts in all the right places to make a black metal track, but it lacks the atmosphere that is so crucial to the genre. It’s hard to deny the bands technical proficiency in both playing and song writing, but the music is devoid of personality. Being the side project of Obscura’s Steffen Kummerer, it is hardly surprising that technicality has taken preference that leaves the record lacking.

Fans of the band will already know what to expect from the album. The songs follow a similar style to their previous work and this album is no departure from this. Ascension Lost remains enjoyable boasting impressive riffs and drumming, but is also distinctly unmemorable. As the title suggests, Thulcandra haven’t ascended to any level of brilliance with this record and until they break from their Dissection homage, are unlikely to any time soon.



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Obscura In Pre-Production For New Album, Seeking Help For Interactive Project


Obscura vocalist/guitarist Steffen Kummerer posted an update on their progress on their new album:

Obscura is working hard on the follow up to 2011’s “Omnivium”. The band is already in pre-production process and starts tracking demos for the new record. We are all pleased with the new material which pairs songwriting, technicality and arrangments of the last albums with creative input of Linus Klausenitzer, Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschläger and Sebastian Lanser, while keeping our trademark prog riffing across fusion and death metal that makes Obscura sound unique.
While working on Obscura’s fourth, yet untitled, record we just initiated an interactive project we need your help for. We are looking for all kinds of photos, videos, graphics, flyers and tour posters since the very beginning in 2002. If you have any footage you would like to share and be part of the band’s project, please get in touch via

Especially videos of our shows in Japan, South East Asia, Mexico, Europe and North America would be appreciated. If you made pictures with the band members after a concert or just made a few shots during a show, feel free to send an email to the band. Everyone contributing will be mentioned in the final credits.
Steffen Kummerer