Released: 2008, Prodisk
After astounding the metal world with their ambitious, but flawed debut (FROM THIS DAY FORWARD), Obliveon took a full three years before returning with their sophomore album – NEMESIS. Although their debut was often a difficult listen, the band converted many to their thrash cause. Unfortunately, 1993 saw the escalation of grunge music at the expense of heavy metal, leaving Obliveon to continue toiling to entertain an impressed but dwindling fan base.
Although NEMESIS is every bit the riff factory of its predecessor, the band managed to distil their prowess into more manageable chunks. Lyrically, they continued their trek through the stars, perhaps going above the heads of many fans, but for me, providing a breath of fresh air from the usual thrash fare. Stephane Picard’s vocals continued down the road paved by Max Cavelera and, while somewhat derivative, perfectly matched the band’s bizarre melding of refined musical chops and brutality.
As previously mentioned, NEMESIS is a much more accessible album than Obliveon’s debut – but make no mistake, “accessible” for these guys is like “technical” for most other bands. Nonetheless, there is plenty of metal to feast upon within this disc, from the continual assault of “Obscure Mindways” to the more spaced out “Frosted Avowals”. Again, it can be a difficult listen, but ultimately worth it with enough effort, especially once album highlight “Factory of Delusions” rolls around.
I honestly believe that Obliveon were simply ahead of their time. Their prog-influenced thrash was a lot to take, and certainly more so before the late-‘90s metal resurgence when it seemed that there all kinds of bands, playing all kinds of styles and minds were generally more open. In any case, Obliveon deserve a second listen – if you’re up to it, give them a chance. You won’t be disappointed.