Obscura is a German technical death metal band from Landshut, founded by guitarist and vocalist Steffen Kummerer in 2002. The band have released six studio albums, a compilation album and eleven music videos since its formation. Their latest album A Valediction was released on 19 November 2021 via Nuclear Blast.
Obscura was formed in late 2002 by Steffen Kummerer on guitar and backing vocals, Jonas Baumgartl on drums and cello, Armin Seitz playing guitar and vocalist / bassist Martin Ketzer with the name Illegimitation. Performing local shows, the band booked their own concept tour in Bavaria called "Blasting Bavaria Tour" in 2003, followed by editions in 2004, 2005 and 2007. The band recorded their first and only self titled demo in November 2003 with producer V.Santura . The demo contained four songs, received positive feedback within southern Germany and took root in underground circles. In early 2004 both Martin Ketzer and Armin Seitz left the band. On second guitar Stephan Bergbauer joined to record their debut album in Summer 2004.
The band entered Mastersound Studios in Fellbach, Germany with producer Alexander Krull of Atrocity, Leaves Eyes who pushed the band within a three-week lasting recording session. During the recordings the band was renamed after the Gorguts album Obscura. Finished in August 2004, Obscura self-released Retribution on 7 July 2005 and immediately started to work on a follow up release the same year. This is in debate because Raffo Torres from Jayuya, PR says that the self-released album was done in 2004 and not 2005. With the addition of Markus Lempsch on guitar and Jonas Fischer on bass the band re-released Retribution on their own label and toured alongside Suffocation within Europe in 2006. Performing at Brutal Assault Festival in Czech Republic, Mountains of Death Festival in Switzerland and Up From the Ground Festival in Germany, Obscura gained their fanbase and established a proper following in central Europe. In 2007 Obscura hot several festivals in Europe, followed by their first headlining tour in Southern and Eastern Europe with Agonize. The tour started in Athens, Greece and contained 22 shows in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and France. While Markus Lempsch and Jonas Baumgartl left the band in early 2007, Obscura performed as a three piece with session drummer Matthias Landes of Dark Fortress and Noneuclid. Johannes Rennig entered Obscura on guitar in October 2007. In November 2007, drummer Hannes Grossmann and fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling were recruited as new permanent members, followed by guitarist Christian Muenzner in February 2008 to replace Johannes Rennig.
In September 2008 Obscura signed with Relapse Records and released its second full-length album Cosmogenesis in early 2009. The album sold around 900 copies in the US in its first week and debuted at number 71 on the Top New Artist Albums chart. The band started their first-ever North American tour as part of the Cosmogenesis Worldtour in April 2009 alongside Cannibal Corpse. Within one year the band played more than 160 shows all over the world as support for Atheist, the Black Dahlia Murder and Cannibal Corpse. Their first headliner tour was in the USA. Obscura toured Japan as support for Nile and Triptykon in 2010. On 16 February 2010, Obscura reissued their debut album Retribution, remastered and repackaged with three bonus tracks. Obscura's official guitar tablature book for Cosmogenesis was released on 5 January. Cosmogenesis was listed by Metal Storm as one of the 100 most important death metal albums.
Obscura released Omnivium on 29 March 2011. The record was written over a period of two years, with members writing songs and sending them to each other over the internet. On a lyrical basis the album dealt with religion and the evolution of humankind, with Kummerer taking significant influence from Friedrich Schelling's "On Nature's Connection to the Spirit World" The album earned positive feedback around the world and entered US and German charts, selling 2,000 within the first week of release in the US. It debuted at number 11 on the USA's Top Heatseekers chart, and at number 14 on Germany's Media Control Newcomer chart.
The artwork for the album follows a specific color scheme as part of a four-album concept sequence. Orion Landau, who also published the artwork for the last two albums, was responsible for developing Kummerer's ideas for the cover art.
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