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Bergen, Hordaland, Norway | INDIE

Bergen, Hordaland, Norway | INDIE
Band Metal Gothic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Joel McIver`s top 20 albumlist 2008"

On Formaldehyde is on my top 20 albumlist for 2008 because that album was great! Keep up the good work!


- Joel McIver in Metal Hammer UK

"This is truly a killer discovery and I think that OBSCURE is going to be a band you’ll be hearing about again."

OBSCURE – “On Formaldehyde” CD ’08 (Dark Essence, Nor) – Well, maybe just maybe that gauntlet mentioned above landed somewhere near Norway, because this here OBSCURE crew sure as hell picked something up and decided to lay a whipping down with it. A four-piece with one guitarist who doubles as lead singer, the line-up will remind you of Bible Of The Devil and, yessum’s, that’s a pretty good parallel. “On Formaldehyde” came on a nice recommendation from The Ripple Effect (http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/) and after having this little number kick my ass, I’ll take everything those guys say very seriously, I’ll tell you that! Much like BOTD, this crew supplies a mix of shorter, NWOBHM-style mashers like “Conversensation” and “Methamorphosis” (love those titles) plus longer, more involved dual-guitar devastators in the name of “Abra Macabra,” “Giants” & “Abraxas.” Here, Roy Kronheim & Tom Eide put on a performance that will have your head banging on the air-stage while your fingers work overtime trying to keep up with the but-busting six-string violence they’re laying down. Imagine Hoffman & crew’s “Warrior Fugue” to get a feel for what you’ll be in store for when you cue up the aforementioned “Abraxas.” Raw-ass metal with a bit of a quirky, psychy edge and crushing axe will fill your day right down to the mangling cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Massacre!” This is truly a killer discovery and I think that OBSCURE is going to be a band you’ll be hearing about again on this site. Let’s hope they get signed and make it to these shores, as they murder! 9.0

"I would love to see these guys be at the forefront of a new metal movement."

I love my job!

Seriously. I love sifting through the desert sands of the Middle East, tipping back a pint in a British tavern, trekking through the jungles of South America . . . all in the effort to find some unique piece of music that will yank me out of the doldrums of everyday life. On my latest journey, I found my way to Bergen, Norway to listen to a band simply called Obscure. Before I go further, I’d like to thank my guides for this expedition, Vulture Industries (another fabulous band that you’ll need to checkout), for pointing me in the right direction and making sure I didn’t get lost along the way.

Imagine for a moment, the metal intensity of Dianno era Iron Maiden mixed with the psychedelic doom and gloominess of classic Black Sabbath. That’s the best way that I can describe Obscure. A wall of dirge rock noise pierced by the melodic wail of harmonized guitars and Halford-esque vocals. Based on past experiences, I expected On Formaldehyde to be just another black metal/death metal offering, but thankfully I was mistaken and I received a much needed jolt of refreshing music.

“Conversensation” and “Veins of Steel” are straight ahead rockers in a NWOBHM fashion. They’ll have you running to your closet to dust off your finest denim and leather, pulling your Motorhead t-shirt out of mothballs, and have you striking a pose next to your Camero or GTO. They’ve got that old school metal feel and would fit well between your Tygers of Pan Tang and Angel Witch albums. Classic angst ridden, tension filled rock . . . gotta’ love it!

The rest of the album, however, takes a darker, broodier, and sometimes psychedelic turn. “Abra Macabra” takes a page directly from any of the Ozzy era Sabbath with it’s detuned menacing groove. The vocals howl over the verses before crooning through a surprisingly melodic chorus. The most compelling part of the song, though, is the musical break at the midway point. It just adds that extra layer of intrigue as it’s completely different than anything that we’ve heard up to this point on the album. That psychedelic vibe carries through to the next track, “Fragments.” Swirling textures of guitar shimmer across the airwaves, as we walk dazed through a cloud of smoke. A soundtrack to the opium dens of a bygone era? Brilliant doom rock, for sure!

The title track is the epic, center piece of the album. Obscure simply bring it on this song. Epic build up at the intro, Maiden inspired guitar work over a classic galloping metal rhythm, searing guitar solos, psychedelic instrumental break that morphs into another sludge riff. Awesome stuff! It’s song writing like this that damn near makes these guys a prog outfit, which is cool. I mean seriously . . . when was the last time that we had a prog doom outfit pummeling our senses? Finally, the last track, “Abraxis” is a heart stopping riff-fest that undoubtedly will have your head bobbing up and down, and ultimately have you pushing the replay button on your CD player.

On Formaldehyde is a respectable, damn near remarkable, first offering from Obscure. Production and performance issues aside (the drummer gets a little squirrly here and there,) this is quality work and gives us a glimpse of what could be. I hope for nothing more than these guys to learn from mistakes made on this album, are truthful with themselves, and enter the studio for a follow up that will stop the rotation of the earth. Not that I want to see civilization cease to exist or anything, but I would love to see these guys be at the forefront of a new metal movement. They catagorize their work as “Doomgie.” Call it what you will, I simply find it inspiring. - Pope JTE

- The Ripple Effect,USA

"Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!"

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

It took me three hours to find out how to begin this review and those three words were blasting my mind while I was listening to this fantastic album again and again and again! I’ll take a few deep breaths now before I continue...

OBSCURE’s first album "On Formaldehyde" is a true, original doom Heavy album. A natural child of BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM, TROUBLE and ST. VITUS that decided to mix up a bit their music with MAIDEN’s double solos and the 70’s good old Heavy Metal from THIN LIZZY and BLUE OYSTER CULT. It’s a bloody trip back to the days when music was both Heavy and Metal.

The down-tuned guitars and the rumbling bass lines work perfectly together with a drummer who can easily do snail-slow beats as well as groovy double-time blasts while double leads scream on the foreground. The vocals are clean and powerful as a diamond cut, creating a thrilling sensation all over the album.

It gets better and better every time you listen to it. It’s not a simple homage to the old-school bands of the 70s and the 80s. Their sound may belong to the past but their music is modern, a mix of the melody and the emotion of the past with the subtle progressive grooves of our time.

Unfortunately my version of the promo came with a different track listing than the one mentioned on the booklet and I can’t comment on each song separately. However there isn’t a single song in this CD that it is not good. There are no fillers, no indifferent tunes. Even the cover of "Massacre" from THIN LIZZY is exactly what a cover should be, a version of the song according to the band’s own viewpoint.

At the end of the booklet, the band mentions: "[Thanks to] all the bands and artists we have stolen from!". I would say thanks to OBSCURE for taking the legacy of the old and transforming it into something fresh and new, yet old and good. Buy this album people. You will not regret it.

- Metal temple (Grecce)

"Progressiv ”doomgie” med old-school metalkänsla, kort och gott."

Den norska kuststaden Bergen förknippas ofta med band som Gorgoroth, Borknagar, Taake, Hades Almighty, Immortal och Helheim. Ett mindre ljusskyggt band från Bergen är Obscure, som ägnar sig åt ”doom boogie” (doomgie), som de själva benämner det. Debutalbumet, som passande nog heter ”On formaldehyde”, har båda fötterna stadigt förankrade i den mylla där traditionell heavy metal, doom, NWOBHM och melodiös hårdrock har sitt ursprung. Det är efter ett ganska konservativt recept norrmännen lagar sin à la carte. Man får gå tillbaks till 70- och början av 80-talet för att hitta ingredienserna. Storheter som Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Judas Priest, Pentagram och Iron Maiden går att med större eller mindre lätthet att urskilja. Lagda i formalin har dessa akters sound trots allt lyckats bevara sin fräschör och naturliga spänst under Obscures hantverksmässiga tillagning.

Kopplingar och referenser lär man hitta gott om på ”On formaldehyde”, även om man inte går in för att leta. Om man uppfattar spåret ”Massacre” som utstuderat Thin Lizzy-aktig kan det bero på att det är en coverlåt. Plattan är i sig ett självständigt verk som, trots det ovan nämnda, mycket väl rymmer egenartade och säregna kompositioner. De uppenbara influenserna är därför inte störande utan mer kuriosa och något man konstaterar och tar in i helheten, utan att sätta någon pariastämpel på. Till detta kommer en anstrykning av progressiva tongångar med snirklande gitarrsolon och psykedeliska passager. Det hela gör ”On formaldehyde” till en på det stora hela intressant och lite annorlunda doom-platta. Progressiv ”doomgie” med old-school metalkänsla, kort och gott.

- Slavestate ,Sweden

"”Veins Of Steel” det perfekte gå-amok nummer"

Så er det ”sjovt nok” igen blevet tid til, at en ny genre skal præsenteres for folket. Denne gang er det norske Obscure, som betegner deres stil som doomgie. En genrebetegnelse jeg personligt ikke er faldet over før.

Bandets musikalske præferencer, der spænder lige fra black metal, over klassisk til electronica, giver en lidt sjov blanding af god gammel heavy rock, som vi kender det fra start 80´erne, og nymodens tungrock. En rockpsykose som forsanger Roy Kronheim (tidligere guitarist i Enslaved) selv beskriver det.

Åbningsnummeret ”Conversensation” nærmest skriger engelsk 80´er metal, og min første tanke var da også ”ahh kom nu videre”. Men efter lidt flere gennemlytninger, falder brikkerne langsomt på plads, og glæden ved Roy Kronheims primalskrig finder efterhånden indpas.
”Veins Of Steel” er ligeledes gennemsyret af de gode gamle dage med metalprogrammet ”Smeltediglen” på radioen (og her taler vi endda om radiostationen The Voice), kiksede solbriller med spejleffekt og denimveste fyldt med stofmærker. Med en spilletid under de tre minutter er ”Veins Of Steel” det perfekte gå-amok nummer, og lur mig om ikke fans af Iron Maiden-stilen fra dengang vil juble over sangen.

Herefter vader Obscure ellers over i en helt anden boldgade med de tunge og noget langsommere sange ”Abra Macabra”, ”Giants” og det fabelagtige titelnummer ”On Formaldehyde”. Sammenligninger med Black Sabbath vil helt sikkert dukke op, men at trække lidt inspiration fra nogle af kongerne kan jo ikke altid undgås.

Mellemspillet med de førnævnte numre leder op til albummets absolutte perle ”Fragments”. Her spilles vitterligt på alle tangenter, og den rockpsykose som Roy Kronheim taler om vækkes så sandelig til live. Forførende og småpsykedelisk rock mikset i en skøn pærevælling, og fyldt op med lækkert sololir, som automatisk fik mig til at finde min støvede luftguitar frem.
Et par gode men lidt mere anonyme sange fører os frem til afslutteren ”Abraxas”, der nærmest er et seks minutter langt guitarorgie ud i soloer. Vokalen fylder ikke meget, men hvad betyder det, når de to guitarister får masser af plads til at lege med deres instrumenter.

Der er slet ingen tvivl om, at Obscure stilmæssigt har blandet posen ganske godt, og jeg må indrømme, at der skulle temmelig mange gennemlytninger til, før jeg fandt albummets røde tråd.
Men da den først var fundet, blev Obscure og deres blandede stil for alvor interessant.
Derfor vinder deres mikstur af flere stilarter klart ved nærmere bekendtskab. Lidt mere struktur på nogle af sangene ville dog gavne i længden, men set i lyset af at det er debuten, vi taler om, er "On Formaldehyde" en fin og habil skive.

Obscure spiller i Slagelse Musikhus den 31. januar 2009 og har selvfølgelig som alle andre også en myspace side med eksempler på, hvad de har lavet. - Transmission.nu ,Denmark

"die beste Musik der Welt"

Metal: OBSCURE klingen ähnlich cool wie ihre Kollegen von SAHG.

Wenn Black-Metal-Musiker einmal genug von ihrer schwarzen Sound-Litanei haben, spielen sie Doom. So ist es bei SAGH, bei denen unter anderem einer von GORGOROTH zockt und so zwei grandiose Alben produziert hat. Und so ist es nun auch bei OBSCURE und deren Debüt "On Formaldehyde", für das vor allem der frühere ENSLAVED-Gitarrist Roy Kronheim verantwortlich ist. Und auch er schafft wie seine Kollegen von SAHG den Sprung von extremen Klängen zum Sound der 70er Jahre, als die Metal-Welt noch auf ellenlangen Melodien und ausgefeilt schweren Harmonien beruhte.

Nur der Albumtitel schafft ein Rätsel. Was wollen die tonalen Dichter mit dem Terminus "Auf Formaldehyd" sagen? Die bekannte Chemikalie, die unter anderem zum Konservieren von Leichen verwendet wird, passt so gar nicht in gängige Drogenmuster. Denn die Dosierung mit dem Stoff bringt nur Ungemach, erst werden Augen und Nase gereizt, später fließen Tränen, schließlich Kopfschmerzen, Lebensgefahr. Und Krebs verursacht es sowieso. Umso dynamischer klingt der "On Formaldehyde"-Titelsong, der - von einem langsamen Part à la 'Planet Caravan' eingeleitet - immer düsterer und schwerer in die Ohren bläst, ehe die vier Musiker gänzlich frei drehen und psychedelisch abrocken. Grandios sind solche Momente, die durch die exzellente Stimme von Frontmann Kronheim weiter an Qualität gewinnen. Als Referenzen kommen so nur große Bands wie PENTAGRAM, CANDLEMASS oder BLACK SABBATH in Frage. Die Verbundenheit zu früheren Zeiten beweist auch das fantastische THIN LIZZY-Cover 'Massacre'.

Auf diesem Niveau lassen OBSCURE 51 Minuten lang ihrer Lust an Musik freien Lauf, Ausfälle gibt es keine. Die gesamte Platte erscheint als Block, voller Überraschungen, voll filigraner Spielfreude und Enthusiasmus für die beste Musik der Welt. Black-Metal-Musiker sollten immer noch eine Doom-Platte am Start haben.

Anspieltipps: On Formaldehyde, Massacre, Abraxas

- Powermetal.de Deutchland

"Ugens monsterdrøn"

Ugens monsterdrøn
Det lyder rigtigt godt når Obscure blander klassisk heavy med tung Black Sabbath-stil.
Obscure – "On Formaldehyde" (Dark Essence Records/Target)

"Mere eller mindre". Det er noget af en ansvarsfraskrivelse, når promo-materialet skriver at guitarist/vocalist Roy Kronheim som tidligere Enslaved-medlem "mere eller mindre" har skylden for at dette band har inkorporeret progrock.

Til gengæld er der ingen tvivl om at lyden af tidligere tider, om det så er oldschool heavy eller progrock, i den grad fascinerer Roy og hans venner på denne debutskive. Faktisk er de så bevidste om det, at der er udover tak til venner også videre i coveret er en tak til de bands, som de er kommet til at stjæle fra.

Selvom den råde tråd er til stede, skal der hele 4 sange til, før man er kommet omkring, hvad bandets stil er. Og det føres så videre i de resterende sange. Obscure er et mix af den tunge arv fra Black Sabbath men også twin-guitar løb, hvor Thin Lizzy er nævnt som inspiration. Og til tyder noget næsten psykedelisk syre-rock.

Åbneren "Conversensation" er allerede røget ind på listen over årets fedeste sange. Fede riffs der går ind på den rigtige side af hjernebarken med det samme.

Også en lidt mystisk rytme på vokalen. Det lyder som en recitation af et digt, der alligevel bliver sunget. Rytmisk er der lidt børnesang over det, og alligevel efter et par lyt, så er der kun begejstring for det.

Sangen har relevans, men en anden og vigtig faktor til, hvorfor de står positivt ud er produktionen. Det er essensen af old-school. Der tænkes Iron Maidens startfirser udgivelser, Manowars "Into Glory Ride" og Fates Warnings "The Spectre Within".

Og det klæder altså sangene, der veksler mellem stoner og klassisk heavymetal, hvor vokalen ligger mest indenfor sidstnævnte univers i sin delvist high-pitch præstation.

Dog lyder det ikke godt, når vokalen lige i enkelt skrig skal forsøge at ramme en ekstra høj tone. Tonen rammes såmænd, men lyder flad og uden autoritet. Men det er også eneste rigtige "men" på denne glimrende debut.

Karakter (på old skool 13-skalaen): 10

- Casper Villumsen
- heavyjam. Dk

"What an incredible album"

Dark Essence Records CD

What an incredible album! Mix of 70’s progressive rock with 80’s epic doom metal, spiced with stoner elements. I’ve spinned this album more than 10 times in my CD player and I can’t still get enough. Nostalgic melody of vocalists will throw you back into the time of early ‘70’s when bands like Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond and Black Sabbath ruled the prog rock scene. Album is filled with energetic and powerful songs, full of complex melodies but also simple arrangements and easy going passages that will all kept you nailed down until the end of the album. Production is modern, but it also have that ‘70’s vibe, inside the sound, that you’ll feel like you’ve listening to some forgotten ‘70’s rock gem. Lyrics are dealing with drugs, inner struggles, occultism, magic…and all of them are so good written, that you’ll need the time to figure, about what they’re talking about. Technical skill of the band’s members are on high level, and everything sounds very professional, expirenced and mature. Except their excellent originals, guys dared to cover Thin Lizzy track also. So, just hear how mighty ‘’Massacre’’ sound in performance of these fellas, and you will catch on this album like nothing. What to say else, grab this release, it worth’s every penny. Excellent album for the end of this 2008.year.

Vladimir Petkoiæ (10)
- Metal-Sound . Serbia

"The authentic aura of “On Formaldehyde” is stunning, with the four musicians"

Obscure - On Formaldehyde
Dark Essence Records

Hellllll, yeah! Obscure hail from Bergen, Norway, but they have the soul and sound of a British band from the 70s, melding doomy heavy metal with progressive inclinations and a psychedelic edge to sound like nothing short of a crazy concoction of Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Trouble, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy, with a little bit of Maiden on the side. The authentic aura of “On Formaldehyde” is stunning, with the four musicians, headed up by former Enslaved guitarist Roy Kronheim, recreating the catchy, grooving spirit of the age perfectly, yet not neglecting their modern progression and inventiveness at the same time.

Proceedings kick off with “Conversensation”, which has an immediate warm groove which is classic but doesn’t play it too safe, maintaining a dark edge and a genuine catchiness. The vocal approach is very ‘natural’; no major histrionics or effects, just a solid, hard rock manliness that works well in keeping the music intimate and direct. “Methamorphosis” is slow and very doom-inspired, adorned with cascading, heroic solos which overlay each other to dizzying effect. “Veins of Steel” ups the pace, with fast, tricksy dual guitars evoking the spirit of Phil Lynott.

So far, so good, but it’s with the title track that Obscure develop into something really special. A proggy, sparse and gentle introduction opens into a big, mired-down chorus, before a much speeded up section incorporating the kind of wide-eyed, dramatic vocal performance one expected from Ozzy when he was at the top of his game. “Giants” keeps the quality high with an insistently groovy, brilliant main riff and some interesting timings, whilst “Fragments” and “Subserialist” are the contenders for stand-out track, the former having a beautiful vocal melody which is later picked up in a guitar solo for an epic finish, and the latter being mad, warm, proggy, driving, dramatic and simply huge.

The nostalgia which Obscure peddle is powerful and undeniable, but it is also respectful and very creative in its own right, witnessing the band come up with original riffs that are even more infectious than their forebears’. A warm and unobtrusive production and excellent artwork all combine to make this my favourite backward-looking doom-metal-prog-rock album since Spiritual Beggars’ “Ad Astra”. Definitely one that inspires many repeated listens, and much embarrassing air-guitaring!

Ellen Simpson

- Hierophant-Nox .UK


On Formaldehyde



EX ENSLAVED LEAD GUITARIST ROY KRONHEIM has hooked up with his since childhood friends and formed OBSCURE.
Obscure is a band of four musicians from Bergen musical underground. Obscure is a brutal, power of suggestion and hectic rock psychosis witch is quite unique and should be experienced live. The Band act as a playground for musicians under the slogan «freedom without responsibility», and create a musical universe witch is crispy, raw and intense.

Bergen Norway`s Obscure assault the listener with a doom boogie that contains roots of Black Sabbath, a heaping dose of NWOBHM and reverence to the old Thin Lizzy lineage.
Imagine for a moment, the metal intensity of Dianno era Iron Maiden mixed with the psychedelic doom and gloominess of classic Black Sabbath. That’s the best way that I can describe Obscure. A wall of dirge rock noise pierced by the melodic wail of harmonized guitars and Halford-esque vocals, and you might get close to Obscure`s sound.