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Obtest - Iš Kartos Á Kartr - 2005 - Ledo Takas Records

Track Listing
1. Paskutinë Akimirka
2. Devyniaragis
3. Iš Kartos I Karta
4. Pergalë
5. Griausmavaldys
6. Audronaša
7. Burtai
8. Pirmyn!
9. Suminti Juodi Takai
Obtest perform a catchy and raucous style of pagan metal, so called for its mixture of folk-reminiscent melodies and aggressive, quasi-black metal tuning. In this particular instance, the general heavy metal end is favored much more than the black—in fact, one could say there is nearly no black metal present on ‘Iš Kartos Á Kartr’ at all. The vocals and rhythm guitar are both appropriately harsh, but the mood here is far from severe, much more fit for drunken carousing and camaraderie.

As many bands in the style do, Obtest essentially employ a single, up-tempo rhythm, but the lead guitar generally does a fine job of breaking monotony and giving familiar character to most of the songs here with melodies that are repetitive and easy to follow. More rarely, they are introduced as a recurring theme that drives the entire finale of a song, such as in ‘Audronasa’ and ‘Pergale’. During those moments, the more thoughtful and composed, Obtest begin to mirror their lyrical themes more closely; ‘Iš Kartos Á Kartr’ stands for ‘From Generation to Generation’, and the press release from the band focuses their cultural and spiritual identity. Obtest have a good ear for their finest material, as the melodies that they do sustain are their most inspired and interesting. Bolstered by a strong effort in the traditional metal style from Insmuth on the kit, ‘Iš Kartos Á Kartr’ maintains an energetic, engaging pace.

Despite this obvious songwriting ability (and occasional maturity), Obtest are severely constrained by one factor: vocals. Baalberith has an appropriate voice for the heathen character of Obtest, but his extremely limited range (he only uses three or four pitches throughout) is the weakest point of every track. If one uses harsh vocals exclusively, a single pitch or limited range is acceptable, but Baalberith’s style is more singing than growling, and therefore can be quite tedious.

As Obtest have continued to develop and evolve into the traditionally inspired heathen metal band they are today, Baalberith would be well served to follow suit. If he manages to expand his range or approach, Obtest are well armed to stand at the forefront of more than just Lithuania’s metal scene.



--Etiam 03.02.07

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Iš Kartos Á KartrObtest
2005
Etiam3/9/2007


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