REVIEW: Obliterate – Impending Death [2018]

Artist: Obliterate

Album: Impending Death


The world has been in a steady state of aggressive decline for God knows how long now. Every new year brings about further sociopolitical deterioration. Things get worse and worse with each passing day—and what do we do? We just let it happen; not always because we don’t care, but because, most of the time, we just can’t do anything about it. With the way the world is heading, Impending Death might be an understatement—because with the release of Obliterate’s 2018 full-length record, it might as well already be here. A destructive and intense display of devastating deathcore from the cold Canadian north, Impending Death is a ruthless record that uses every second of its modest 30 minute running time to inflict as much bodily harm on the listener as it can. Laden with riffs, sharp leads, pulverizing breakdowns and enough groove to help things flow smoothly and create a sense of catchiness, Obliterate bring back a “classic” deathcore vibe with a contemporary sheen that is bound to make itself a home in the heavy-music-loving-masses’ car stereo.

Obliterate don’t simply stay true to their previous material’s heavy reputation, but they also stay true to their name. Rendering to ruin their competition, Obliterate have put forth a record which stands to make them one of deathcore’s forerunners amid the tumultuous state that has swept the genre of late. From the punctual, technical percussion from drummer Pat Woods, to the beefy bass of Pier-Luc Tardif and the mammoth fretwork from Hubert Therrien and Marcus Adam, everything about Impending Death is huge. Well worth the wait, the group’s instrumental effort is engaging and quick—especially Woods’ work on “Impending Death” and “Aneurysm”—without dropping into monotonous, absurd breakdowns that consume the entirety of the record’s duration. Rather, Impending Death—while abundant with mosh-inducing moments of mayhem—incorporates some sparse atmosphere (“Hellhole”) into a lead-heavy mix on songs like “I, Cerebrus” and “In Devil’s Care,” all of which also feature gargantuan moments of monstrous aggression. Therrien and Adam are an excellent duo, roaming atop Woods’ drumming and Tardif’s thick, grisly bass with energy and anger both, using their skills to define “Numbers,” “In Devil’s Care” and many more, balancing grooves, riffs and ruthless chugs into a churning, simmering pot of delicious deathcore. Where Impending Death is practically constantly oppressive, there are rare moments of ethereality—“Hellhole” chief among them—that give the listener just a minute-long break from the bone-busting nature of the release’s bulk. The closing number, “Reconquered,” is the culmination of the group’s hard work—not simply where musical brilliance is involved, but where the band’s vocal element is concerned as well.

Frontman Rémi Provencher, as he has since Obliterate’s inception, reigns supremely over the intense instrumentation that serves as his backdrop. Impending Death is a glorious example of his bellows and strong, fluid candor both, as several tracks give great insight to his skills. With anthems like “I, Cerebus” and “Impending Depth” serving as stand-alone examples of his excellence, the truth is such that Provencher is nothing if not consistent—as just about every song hits as hard as the one before it. With some out-of-this-world vocal assistance on the album’s closing track, and the meat of the album (especially the aforementioned songs) seeing Provencher’s range and dynamism unfold far beyond anything Obliterate’s past material has held, Impending Death is an excellent record on all fronts—from brilliant, bold instrumentation to a vocal force that topples the likes of their competition.

Impending Death is far from Impending—as after years of anticipation, Obliterate’s breakout full-length record is finally upon us. Laden with sharp leads, hard-hitting production, pummeling breakdowns and an excellent vocal element, Obliterate are a contemporary testament to sound, relentless and ruthless deathcore surviving well into 2018. While more scrupulous listeners might find themselves critical that Obliterate don’t “do anything new,” the fact is that—yeah, sure, they don’t, really—but what they do is create an excellent and engaging example of rage-inducing, fist-swinging, crowd-killing deathcore at its finest; and if that isn’t why you’re reading this, then…why are you?



For Fans Of: Oceano, Postmortem Promises, Bodysnatcher, Falsifier, So This is Suffering

By: Connor Welsh