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OBSCURA Live - Tokyo 12 June 2012 (4/5)

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Published on Jun 12, 2012

Was fortunate enough to see Obscura play last night. Particularly because Hannes Grossmann drums for them, and he is an exceptional drummer whose techniques I often enjoy listening to... from his brief time in Necrophagist, to his current band Obscura. I also wanted to see Linus Klausenitzer play his 6 string fretless bass... not something you see every day. Most of the fans there were oblivious to this mans musical technical excellence... I had never even SEEN a 6 string bass before... and the fact that it is FRETLESS as well just makes the whole concept a step beyond insanity.

The show started with Japanese band Defiled doing a 30 minute set. Good enough band I suppose, but if you can imagine a generic blast beating metal band, you can imagine every song they play. They are local heroes, so the audience loved them none the less. They played well but didn't have many suprises up their sleeve musically speaking. The vocalists hair was waist length, and for most of their set it was hanging over his face in a thick wall, and for most of their set I was simply wondering how he could breathe under it all.

Next up was Beneath the Massacre. These guys had the best sound mix of the evening, and they played exceptionally well. I had never heard their stuff before, mostly due to the vast amount of music being available these days - so much to injest there just isn't enough time to lend every band your ears - but I will say for the record that they kicked ass in a well oiled, well disciplined way. Flawless performance, regardless of the fact that they were obviously suffering under the intense heat of the club, playing their set in a mist of human sweat and steam. That club needs more ventilation for the bands.... it looked terribly unpleasant. But even under all that added physical stress, they played every song with scalpel incisionlike precision.

Finally after a 30 minute equipment changeover and Hannes doing his own soundcheck, the headliners band OBSCURA took the stage. Their sound mix wasn't as good as I had hoped - one of the guitars was silent for sections of the set... not the bands fault of course - the soundman wasn't doing his job right, or there was some technical issues. Either way that did make holes in the overall sound here and there, particularly missing solos etc. Other than the minor technical details, the band played very well. A few bum notes on the guitars here and there, but when you are playing something as difficult as technical death metal in a sweaty club with bad lighting and a decent chunk of jetlag, I'm sure these things happen. It's always easy to stand in the crowd and critique - much more difficult to be on stage. Overall though Obscura played excellently, and Hannes did an excellent job drumming live. I did note that he avoided a few extremely fast kick sections in one of the tracks, but live is not the same as studio.... live is an hour of gruelling drumming, and pacing yourself is vitally important. Timing was impecable and I was thoroughly impressed. So impressed, I bought his drum teaching DVD on the way out of the gig. I had the chance to have a brief chat with him, and he graciously signed my DVD and my cosmogenesis CD.
Very nice guy and very approachable too, so all in all I was impressed by Mr. Hannes Grossmann, both on stage and in person.

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