Obscura, Fallujah & Allegaeon @ Rebellion

Obscura, Fallujah & Allegaeon @ Rebellion

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Obscura divulged Manchester in a masterclass of death metal as they brought their expansive, explorative brand of music along with a staunchly talented cast of supports.

Words: Phil Weller

Colorado's Allegaeon set the scene, and indeed a marker for those to follow, with their eight string wielding, riff brandishing blend of extreme progressive metal with a smiling excellency. Through a whirlwind of notes their perpetually developing songs unravelled, both guitarists wrapt in a friendly shred war, whilst vocalist Riley McShane orchestrated plenty of crowd involvement. What was more impressive yet still was the clarity their chaotic instrumentation sang out with and you could on their faces that the band were loving every second of their set, something which in turn infected the buoyant crowd.

In contrast, the first half of Fallujah's set, which included new single Ultraviolet, saw their dense, vocal-heavy compositions sounding muddy and congested. And from there, while they had their moments such as on the more instrumentally detailed Sapphire, where the guitarists split from busy unison playing and suddenly found more balance and character in the mix as a result, they never truly recovered. Sandwiched either side of two on-form bands, it was an unfortunately disappointing set which only built more anticipation for the main attraction.

There was a might to Obscura's presence that made their entrance so irrepressible, Emergent Evolution's grinding death metal tonality barraging into life with both a ferocity and crystalline cleanness that helped their intricacies come, much like Allegeon before them, shining through. It was a display, with the band setting out their stellar stall with this opener, characterised by balance. While every song boasted aggression and abrasiveness, Arkóasis littered with crunching twists and turns, they also knew when to take their foot off the gas and allow their songs to breathe with melodious, interweaving passages. Bassist Linus Klausenitzer, a master of his trade, slithered in and out of the intricate andentralling twin guitar attack whilst sticksman Sebastian Lanser was purely animalistic and unrelenting behind the kit, dishing out drum fills so naughty they should be given a week's detention. A seven string bass solo was another highlight,  Klausenitzer again flaunting his expertise, before The Anticosmic Overload punctured the cheering crowd for the encore, punctuating a confident and crushing performance.

Allegaeon were great fun, but when they got down to business, Obscura were simply untouchable.

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