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Obscura (band)

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Obscura (band)

Obscura
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Background information
Origin Munich, Germany
Genres Death metal (Early)
Progressive
Technical death metal[1]
Years active 2002-present
Labels Relapse Records
Voice of the Soul Records
Associated acts Necrophagist
Spawn of Possession
Blotted Science
Website http://www.realmofobscura.com/
Members Steffen Kummerer
Christian Muenzner
Hannes Grossmann
Linus Klausenitzer

Obscura is a technical death metal band from Munich, Germany that incorporates death metal with elements of progressive rock and fusion music.

The band gained notoriety in heavy metal when members of Necrophagist and Pestilence joined Steffen Kummerer to release the critically acclaimed Cosmogenesis. Obscura are renowned for playing highly sophisticated music, with several band members having studied theory. They are considered pioneers of progressive metal,[2] taking strong inspiration from Jason Becker, Cynic and Death, as well as classical composers such as Sebastian Bach. The name of the group comes from the highly acclaimed album Obscura by Canadian death metal band Gorguts.

Obscura's recent discography draws significant philosophical influences from Arthur Schopenhauer,[3] Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schelling, whose writings on Naturphilosophie formed the conceptual basis for their lyrics.[4]

History

Retribution

Obscura was founded in 2002 by Steffen Kummerer. The band was named after the Gorguts album Obscura.[5] In 2006 Obscura self-released their debut album Retribution and toured alongside Suffocation within Europe. A European headlining tour through East and South Europe followed in 2007. Later that year, drummer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist), fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling and guitarist Christian Muenzner (ex-Necrophagist) were added as new permanent members.[6]

Cosmogenesis

In September 2008 Obscura signed with Relapse Records [7] and released its second full-length album Cosmogenesis in early 2009. The band started their first-ever North American tour as part of the 'Cosmogenesis Worldtour' in April 2009 alongside Cannibal Corpse. Within one year the band played more than 160 shows all over the world as support for Atheist, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse besides their first headliner tour in the USA. Obscura got the chance to tour Japan as support of Nile & Triptykon in 2010. On February 16, 2010 Obscura reissued their debut album Retribution remastered and repackaged with three bonus tracks. Obscura's official guitar tablature book for the band's latest album,Cosmogenesis, was released on January 5. The 145-page book contains the full tablature for all rhythm and lead guitar tracks on the LP, expanded album artwork, track-by-track commentary and an introduction from the band. Cosmogenesis has made it into the 100 most important Death Metal albums of all time [8]

The record is also Obscuras first notable venture into neoclassical music, a notable example being the baroque interlude in the song "Universe Momentum".

Omnivium

Obscura released the follow-up album to Cosmogenesis, entitled Omnivium, on March 29, 2011. The third album earned positive feedback around the world and entered US & German charts, selling 2,000 within the first week of release in the US alone.

Despite having played on the record, Obscura announced that Jeroen Paul Thesseling left the band due to scheduling conflicts between Obscura and Pestilence, his second band. Later, Thesseling cited economic reasons as being a motive for joining his former band, Pestilence, thusly making it impossible to tour and record with both bands simultaneously. In an interview, Thesseling stated: "That was a very hard decision for me...It was more like a financial pressure that made me decide to leave Obscura".[9]

Following the release of the album, Jeroen Paul Thesseling was replaced with Linus Klausenitzer of the progressive death metal band Noneuclid. Klausenitzer was officially presented as the new full-time member with a video statement from the band in September 2011.Obscura started the 'Omnivium Worldtour' in their home town Landshut, Germany followed by a full European tour alongside Hate Eternal, Beneath the Massacre & Defiled. They also played a five week major market tour supporting Children of Bodom & Devin Townsend within North America. On the 10th of August the band announced their first South East Asian headlining tour, performing first time ever in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore & United Arab Emirates. In November & December the same year a North American headlining tour followed and for March, April 2012 a successful headlining European run with support by Spawn of Possession, Gorod and Exivious got confirmed. Supporting their latest album Omnvium, the band played their first headlining tour in Japan alongside Beneath the Massacre in June 2012.

Illegimitation

In late 2011 Obscura started an online fund raising scheme which relies on support/donations from fans of the band for the release of a combination of their 1st demo, demos from the Cosmogenesis sessions and 3 cover songs from the bands Death, Atheist and Cynic. Within 60 days the band generated $14,600 in fan donations, exceeding their financial target by 486%; The band then released a statement indicating their contentment with the release;

"After the immense feedback for the re-release of our debut album 'Retribution' and 10.000 sold copies of that record, fans were asking for our early recordings and the material we wrote before hooking up with Relapse Records. Our very first record, 'Illegimitation' was tracked in 2003 with our long term producer V.Santura and shows the beginning of this band back in 2002 I am glad to show every fan that is interested in our roots where we come from and how things developed within the first ten years of Obscura. This is a release directly from the band and for our die-hard fans and friends."
In celebration of their tenth year as a band, the band played a special anniversary show on the 15th of December in Landshut, Germany with support from Dark Fortress, Hokum and Illegimitation; The show featured a reunion of the members who recorded their first demo, Illegimitation. This show will also mark the end of the Omnivium World tour before the band begins writing new material.

Philosophy & Lyrics

Being the founding member of Obscura, Kummerer devises the bands lyricism and imagery himself. Being a progressive/technical band, Obscura's lyrics focuses mainly on the philosophical writings of famous German philosophers. In describing these lyrics, Kummerer states:

" Cosmogenesis started with the beginning of our existence, the big bang theory if you want to say so, and deals with different layers and synonyms on a philosophical basis. The second, Omnivium, takes part of the evolution in many different layers such as the basic ape to human thought, religious topics, how the human individuals evolve within their existence and uses as basic theme the novel On Nature’s Connection to the Spirit World by Friedrich Schelling".

For their second release, Cosmogenesis, was their major delve into philosophy, which Kummerer describes as being influenced by the works of both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Georg Trakl, with Omnivium showing a shift in interests, and being based solely on the work of German philosopher Friedrich Schelling.[4]

Members

Current members

  • Steffen Kummerer - guitars & vocals (2002–present)
  • Christian Muenzner - guitars (2008–present)
  • Hannes Grossmann - drums (2007–present)
  • Linus Klausenitzer- fretless bass (2011–present)

Former members

  • Jonas Baumgartl - drums (2002–2007)
  • Martin Ketzer - bass, vocals (2002–2004)
  • Azmo - bass (2004)
  • Andreas "Hank" Nusko - bass (2004–2005)
  • Gerd Pleschgatternig - bass (2005)
  • Jonas Fischer - bass (2005–2007)
  • Armin Seitz - guitars (2002–2004)
  • Stephan Bergbauer - guitars (2004)
  • Jürgen Zintz - guitars (2004–2005)
  • Markus Lempsch - guitars (2005–2007)
  • Johannes Rennig - guitars (2007)
  • Jeroen Paul Thesseling - bass (2007–2011)

Touring members

  • Steve DiGiorgio - bass (Japanese Tour 2010)
  • Jacob Schmidt - bass (EU Tour 2009, single shows 2010, 2011)
  • Seraph - drums (EU Tour 2007)
  • Linus Klausenitzer - bass (EU & US Tour 2011)

Discography

Studio Albums

Compilations

  • Illegimitation (2012)

References

External links

  • Official Obscura Home Page
  • Relapse Records

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