OSSUARY ANEX: Obscurantism Apogee
Release year: 2020
Label: Xtreem Music
Cultural exchange is a wonderful thing. It builds understanding between peoples, nations and cultures in a way that no formal channels can. As such, when a Russian act belts out pure-bred USA-style brutal death metal, it’s got to be an act of world peace, right?
Joking aside: did I not know, based by their sound alone I would have guessed that Russian Ossuary Anex hail from somewhere in the US. Everything about their sound and style reeks of classic – one could even say generic – US death metal of the brutal kind. I’m reluctant to even drop any names: I’m sure you can hear with your mind’s ears just what Ossuary Anex are all about. So smack dab in the middle of conventional brutal USDM is their sound.
Yeah, you know what I mean: tungsten heavy riffs with plenty of chugga-chugga, elements from slam, no melodies to speak of, plenty of mid-tempo headbanging/fist pumping sections, some faster sections of blasting brutality. The whole ten yards. The vocals are a deep, guttural growl. There’s nothing original or characteristic about Ossuary Anex’s sound: just take all the conventions, standard elements and common clichés of the genre, tack them together and you’ve got Obscurantism Apogee.
But: all of the previous notwithstanding, and considering all of the previous, quite surprisingly Obscurantism Apogee is a good album. A wholly enjoyable, entertaining and well-crafted album with a good balance and well-written songs. To be sure, Obscurantism Apogee – the Russians’ third album – isn’t particularly memorable or one for the ages, but when you happen to put it on, you’ll be entirely content with spinning it through from start to end.
Whilst not excelling in any area of their expression, on their third album the Russian five-piece display a solid grasp of the rulebook of brutal US-style death metal. Whilst there’s plenty of opportunities for criticism in how rigidly they stick to said rulebook, upon listening to the album one no longer wants to complain. Whilst not the album of the year, it’s still very enjoyable.
As I’ve said plenty of times before: originality be damned. Sometimes doing what you do well is enough, no matter how generic it is. Ossuary Anex prove my point.