Oh, the wonderful Swedish death metal scene of the nineties. This is quite possibly the greatest scene of all time. Just about every death metal band from there kicked severe amounts of ass, whether it was the giants like Entombed, Grave, Dismember, Unleashed, etc or if it were the bands making a name for themselves in the underground through their awesome demos like Desultory, Excruciate, Edge of Sanity, or the subject of today's entry, Exhumed. Normally when people think of death metal demos from Sweden, it's the usual suspects like Nihilist and Nirvana 2002 who both had legendary demo collections that were highly influential, but Exhumed's "Obscurity" demo is quite magnificent as well, yet it remains a hidden gem.
For those of you who know about this band and have had the pleasure of hearing this demo, you know just how great it is. The sound is extremely raw and primitive, but is there really a better way to create old school Swedeath? The guitar tone is thick, heavy and dirty which makes each mid-paced riff that much more awesome. It also makes the tremolo riffs found on "Obscurity" seem heavier than your typical death metal tremolo burst. The tone of the guitars is also highlighted during the more melodic moments, especially the ending of "Satanic Verses" which features a great melodic passage that has that eerie, yet beautiful sound to it that those Swedish bastards are famous for. Exhumed also shows that they're not afraid to go faster than the average Swedeath band, especially on the opening track "Obscure Desolation." If you cannot headbang to the riffs in this song then you shouldn't be listening to metal.
While not as legendary as the Nihilist demos, "Obscurity" is a brilliant piece of Swedish death metal history that everyone needs to take notice of. Oh, and stay away from the later stuff the band does as Morpheus, because you will be extremely disappointed after hearing this.
"What Life Has Brought"