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Review: Hannes Grossmann – The Radial Covenant

hannesgrossmannHannes Grossmann
The Radial Covenant (2014)

Germany, Self-released, Technical Death Metal

Waiting for a new Obscura album is very similar waiting for a phone call from a potential significant other. Your palms sweat, you dream about what you are going say. And yet, when that call never comes, the heart is left wanting and waiting. I can imagine with quasi-logical conjecture that many tech-death listeners (me included) feel the same way. Obscura’s third album, Omnivium is perpetually in my car stereo with the digital copy playing on several devices that I own. This yearning however was eased significantly when I downloaded ‘The Radial Covenant” by Obscura’s drummer, Hannes Grossman. To be honest, I expected hearing compositions very similar to Obscura’s material, and while I was not too far off the mark, the music on Grossman’s solo album is indeed an unexpected departure from Obscura’s. Using the always effective analogy here (it works for me), this is like dating your spouse’s twin after a divorce, they may look the same but similarities arte only skin deep. Grossman, being one of the best drummers in metal seemed to know that quality begets quality and thus enlisted the help of several technically savvy musicians such as Jeff Loomis (Conquering Dystopia), Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry), Watchtower’s Ron Jarzombek adding leads and fellow “Obscurians” guitarist Christian Muezner and bassist Linus Klausenitzer. The end result as I alluded to earlier should be familiar to Obscura fans and not surprisingly, the album exudes a plethoric majesty that very well could be considered a contender the best technical death metal album of the year. I write this based on three criteria; first, the production of the album is flawless, due to every instrument occupying its own niche in the sonic spectrum. Klausenitzer’s bass can be heard in equal temperament, which is a godsend in a genre where all the instruments in their “virtuosicity” are vying for equality. As far as the drums are concerned, and Grossman’s highly skillful notwithstanding, they echo the same brilliance shining on Obscura’s Omnivium. Continue reading Review: Hannes Grossmann – The Radial Covenant