Sepulchral Saturday: Obscure Evil – “Midnight Forces”

Obscure Evil - Midnight Forces

Saturday’s are great for a lot of reasons and Peru’s Obscure Evil and their Midnight Forces demo is yet another one of these reasons. It’s four searing tracks of black and thrash metal with a serious chip on its shoulders, akin to the first wave of black metal material. Dark, dirty thrash via Sarcofago and an early Venom attitude yet it still makes room for some serious NWOBHM licks interspersed throughout. This demo recalls fond memories while kicking you in the teeth, but this is one mouth buster you’ll actually smile about.

Peru is home to many bands that defy the limits of heavy and nasty, Anal Vomit and Goat Semen just to name a couple rousers. And now we can jump in on the ground floor with Obscure Evil. Formed in 2014, Midnight Forces is their initial entry into the black/thrash world. It’s a no frills, relentless attack on the senses. It’s also a little over 12 minutes in length so there’s no reason not to take a chance on it.

“Obscure Prayings” is a juggernaut of speedy riffs and human torpedo percussion. But it also fares well when the tempo is reigned in a bit, putting the focus squarely on the higher toned guitar work. Earlier on “Enchants of Bitterness” the band waste no time reaching top speed. Dirty thrash meets head on with torturously barked vocals, again very reminiscent of the first wave type vocals. This is a demo after all so obviously the production and final mix leans heavily towards the monotone side but it works beautifully here. I mean, who wants thrashy black metal — of this order — that sounds like it was recorded in a million dollar studio? The dirtier the better.

One thing the band does that I can really get behind is they actually showcase their collective playing instead of the instruments merely being tools to get the job done. The structuring is such that most of the vocals wrap the front and back end but leave the middle open for some serious jamming. “Searing Vomit Rain” does this with a Slayeresque (think Hell Awaits-era) lead riff then a nod to the muscular melody present in early NWOBHM. As much as this band stays on the accelerator throughout, its a nice surprise to hear them stretch their chops a bit and really dive deep into the void of chaotic hellfire.

You’ll see from the link below that the band is signed to Caligari Records. We’ve been singing this label’s praises for awhile now, but in case you missed it, Caligari is the real deal. Finding and bringing to the forefront many underground bands that absolutely rule. So, huge respect to Caligari for continuing to expand my metal collection and giving exposure to many brilliantly heavy bands.

Obscure Evil

On Midnight Forces, Obscure Evil aren’t doing anything completely new but their chosen method of mixing thrash and black metal with a dash of heavy metal wizardry is something to behold. Not to mention the fact that the band slays virtually every second of the four tracks offered. It will be interesting to see if they can sustain this intensity with a full length and if they can expand on the mid-track structuring that is such a huge success on this demo. Stream it, buy it and for god sakes go visit Caligari Records.

-Josh


Midnight Forces is available now on Caligari Records. For more info on Obscure Evil visit the band’s Facebook page.


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