Released: 2008, Prodisk
During the heady thrash craze of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, Quebec’s Obliveon made a splash with their technical riff labyrinths. Although the band was a late-comer to the scene (this album, their debut, was originally released in 1990), the band’s Sepultura-influenced music with futuristic lyrics turned heads around the world. Unfortunately, it took them three years to release their second album and by that time the grunge movement was in full swing and the band was lost in the crowd. They persevered and released a total of four highly respected albums in relative obscurity before calling it quits in 2002. Now, Canadian label Prodisk has seen fit to give Obliveon their due and re-release all of their studio albums, beginning with their debut, FROM THIS DAY FORWARD.
From the opening assault of the title track, it’s clear that Obliveon have chops. The dense web riffery that assails you, topped with Stephane Picard’s harsh but decipherable croak is tough to take, even 18 years later. There’s no doubt, Obliveon are not an easy band to get into. The near 9-minute “Fiction of Veracity” is up next. Filled with twist, turns, and even a false ending, it is a veritable metal feast all on its own – seriously, the band pack more into this one song than some bands do in an entire album!
The rest of the album follows along this same path, riffs swooping in and changing to something else just as fast, although the instrumental “Access to the Acropolis” is surprisingly the most accessible song on the disc. Unfortunately, the album is too impenetrable. I’m all for albums that take multiple listens to “get”, but FROM THIS DAY FORWARD is perhaps too much to take. Individually, the songs are impressive, no doubt, but the band seemed too intent on making the heaviest, most technical thrash they could, and forgot to throw in the occasional hook to make it memorable.
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD was a confident first step for Obliveon, but in the long run, largely forgettable.