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The Swedish duo has returned with a promotional EP, the follow-up to 2001's "Coup De Grâce", the 3 tracks on "Strategema" comes from the recordings that should have been the band's first full length album "Sonnilon", an album that eventually got dropped as the band has started to work on a new full length that hopefully soon will see the light of day, until then we'll have this 3 track release to make the days shorter and to carve Obitus back into our minds.  

The band delivers a grim blend of harsh death and black metal, with emphasis on the latter. Obitus did already show their flair for making good songs on the first demo, and they have developed them, the 3 tracks on this release are furious, blazing and catches on right away. The guitar play is fast and aggressive, on top of the fast and hellish riffs, the band incorporates some really good melodies, atmospheric, cold and sinister. The bass is heavy and rumbling, thundering away beneath the massive wall of guitar. The drums on the "Coup De Grâce" demo, was delivered by a drum-machine, and if it's the same on this one they’ve stepped the programming skills up, as it sounds real, no matter what the drumming is good and pretty varied and sounds good. The vocal is a grim growled rasp, effective and straight in your face, even if you try you can't escape the harsh bile.

The material on "Strategema" is written and recorded during 2001 and 2002, so it is of course not representative for Obitus anno 2006, but is the natural predecessor to "Coup De Grâce", a demo I have been listening a lot to through the years. Aggressive, fast and brutal war metal delivered relentless and with emphasis on sweeping you off your feet. The better and heavier production the material has compared to the demo does also do the material good, there seems to be more power and energy behind the performances, the music is getting shoved into your ears! The duo of Anders Ahlbäck and Johan Huldtgren are talented and guarantors for violent and atmospheric metal and I for one can't wait to hear what they have coming for us. Though when listening to "Strategema" it is also kind of sad that the full album never has seen the light of day, as the material is really strong.


Review by:Anders of Nocturnal Horde


These songs were initially written in 2001 during the _Sonnilon_ recording session, with bass and vocals recorded in 2006. A disclaimer states that these songs are not "necessarily true for Obitus 2006" and that this is essentially a "historical document".

Had this been released by a bigger band such as Dimmu Borgir, I would have adopted a highly cynical approach in my evaluation of this album; but this is a self-financed album by a much smaller band. Clearly Obitus must have regarded these songs of being of some value, and this view is not devoid of merit.

In sharp contrast to most EPs, there is not a single piece of filler in sight: just three songs of ferocious black metal imbued with a comparatively decent production, which allows their melodic tendencies to come to the fore. The melding of outright aggression and catchy melody is done masterfully, as only the Swedes seem capable of doing. Their use of melody is constant and prominent, but the innate aggression means that they cannot be compared to more upbeat acts such as Sorhin. The relentlessness might get a bit trying over the course of a full-length, but with a playing time of less than fifteen minutes, this isn't a concern. The vocals, as is too often the case, are the most mundane aspect, straying little from a generic black metal rasp.

Not groundbreaking brilliant, but Obitus get the job done; they are capable of composing more than a few good melodies, and a distinct lack of filler means this will get a few more listens.


Review by:Quentin Kalis of Chronicles of Chaosa


"Strategema" is a very short EP containing three songs that were written back in 2001 and 2002 while the band was recording their "Sonnilon" album. One could say that they have aged like a fine wine. :) This is 13 minutes of fast, gimmick-free Black Metal that holds no surprise, very much in the vein of what Obitus released at the time. Think of bands like Horna, or a "less blasty", furious Marduk. It's a speedfest that doesn't leave much room for fans of atmospheric or thrashy BM. There isn't much that can be said that hasn't already been said: Obitus show that they know their BM and also know how to play it, plain and simple. A worthy little EP while awaiting a new full length...


Review by:Michel Renaud of MetalCrypt