I like my metal raw and unrelentingly vicious as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want things to be taken back a notch. Just a single notch to go from madness to madness with a structure to it. That’s by no means a foreign concept in the realm of black metal, but there relatively aren’t that many bands out there who go for such a style. Leave it to the promising land of Italy to produce Obscure Devotion who pulled off such a specific style of black metal wondrously.
The idea of bringing melody into black metal is one that sounds good on paper, but, like most ideas, can easily go wrong in the execution and many bands have paid the price for that. I’ve always loved the idea of melding intensity and melody together in great amounts, yet I’ve never really heard many melodic black records despite the many albums of the genre under my belt. Obscure Devotion is one of the few groups that really managed to embody melodic black metal in such a way that you can instantly recognize it, and then proceed to fucking jam out to it because all of “Ubi Certa Pax Est” is a very well done album all the way through. These ten tracks, while not being anywhere near super fantabulous, are absolutely satisfying and you can really feel the very dynamics of what Obscure Devotion has crafted here, and it leads to this wonderful display of intensity, melody, and a general sense of quality musicianship that proves immediately that this group has potential. Not many records like “Ubi Certa Pax Est” come along where they show not only where the band has been, but where they’re going and bring a near-cinematic feel to the music that simultaneously packs a punch the likes of which you simply can’t shrug off without giving a toss.
By no means do I think that Obscure Devotion has created a masterful album that many should refer to in the future, but there’s no denying that there’s plenty of fun to be had out of this piece and that these Italians know how to please in more ways than one. “Ubi Certa Pax Est” shows plenty of talent showcased constantly, and potential is something to be built upon in order to achieve greatness, and I’m positive that’s what’ll happen in the case of these interesting Italians.
LISTEN to “Ubi Certa Pax Est” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Obscure Devotion on Facebook here.