Enlarge The guitar work in this song will leave your jaw on the floor.

Obscura Debut New Single “Solaris”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Obscura mastermind Steffen Kummerer has said that the band’s forthcoming album, A Valediction, “thematically [deals] with final farewells” (as its title suggests). This seems likely to be the result of the fact that A Valediction is Obscura’s first album since three-fourths of its line-up quit to go form a new band, Obsidious, whose similar moniker is surely just a coincidence. They did this, as one might assume, so as to attain greater creative control, rather to serve as the band for what is, for all intents and purposes, Kummerer’s project.

That makes the title of the just-released first single from A Valediction, “Solaris,” suuuuuuuper-interesting: Solaris is a science fiction novel by Stanislaw Lem (later adapted into movies by Andrei Tarkovsky and Steven Soderbergh, respectively) about a doctor doing research on a mysterious alien planet… which subsequently manifests his wife, who died by suicide back on Earth.

In Solaris, the protagonist, Kelvin, feels incredible guilt over his wife’s suicide. Is there a snowball’s chance in hell that Kummerer is trying to communicate guilt over the alienation of his former bandmates? Comments he made shortly after they all quit indicates that he does not:

“Within Obscura I am the sole founding member since around 15 years and brought the band to life back in 2002. Decisions are made on my table, including the musical direction. I am not the right person for compromises.”

But I still think it’s interesting that he invoked Solaris. It certainly suggests feelings of guilt over the loss of someone.

Which is not to say that this is some mopey Jesu song. “Solaris” is exemplary of Obscura’s greatest strengths: writing awe-inspiring tech-death that doesn’t get lost in riff salad. “Solaris” has a hook, goddamn it! And the guitar work will leave your jaw on the floor. I know it left mine on the floor. I’m actually typing around it right now.

Listen to “Solaris” below.

A Valediction comes out November 19. In addition to Kummerer, the band has been re-joined by bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling and guitarist Christian Münzner, both of whom previously appeared on Cosmogenesis (2009) and Omnivium (2011). The line-up is rounded out by new drummer David Diepold (Cognizance, Give Em Blood, Amon Din, Nü Jakk Citie). 

[via The PRP]

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