By Marcus Pan
Oblivion first popped up nearly two decades
ago. Beginning in 1987, they thrashed about for about five years until breaking
up in 1992. In that time theyve shared the stage with one of my favorites
New Yorks Biohazard. I wonder if maybe Ive seen them play
and just didnt realize it.
Remixed is a three CD collection all
previously released demos. Contents Under Pressure from 1990, Why Did
Johnny Kill from 1989 and War Gives Me Peace of Mind from 1988.
Released following the re-discovery of Oblivions analog master tapes,
Remixed brings hope to Jerseys thrash scene. Also here are two
live tracks from GWillikers in 1991.
Oblivions music includes chunky metal bits for those
still loving that sort of thing. It has its Metallica moments, its Maiden
moments, its Suicidal moments, its Biohazard moments and its Megadeth moments
and then some. It can make nice twiddly bits that squeal and cry and
heavy riffy bits that chunk about like a robot with a temper. It even has its
anthemish everyone-yells-at-once moments too if youre looking for a bit
of thrasy camaraderie.
One thing I want to mention before we get into the music is
I love the CD liner notes. A collection of show bills from Oblivions live
days years ago DIY to the core, reminiscent of the bills I have hanging
on my basement wall for my own band that some day, when Ive been playing
for 20 years, Ill put in a jacket too. History is good.
Since they are demos, dont expect full-on stereo
digital quality turn up the volume knob a little. Nonetheless Oblivion
are powerful enough, and the music is tight and on. Occasionally the vocals
dont mesh precisely with the backing rhythm, but thats the sort of
thing you see often with thrash. Guitar work is excellent, with solos all over
the place. Why Did Johnny Kill has a particularly appealing one, and
though theres a bass solo portion I would have liked that to be
miced a bit better.
Where the sample for Redjack is from I couldnt
tell you (though the previous track I believe is Marvin the Martian).
Redjack is a favorite for its nice bassline, borrowing power from the
guitars, after which it will shred into a fast paced thrash dirge filled with
chunky Megadeth guitars. Contents Under Pressure reminds me of Metallica
with its squealy guitar. The opening of Portrait of a Maggot reminds me
of Twisted Sisters Captain Howdy. Beware the great burp openings
of Coup Detat and Mind Ripper.
If you need a bit of a skull slam or miss throwing yourself
bodily into a pile of strangers from high ground, Oblivion are certainly worth
checking out especially for the Jersey history its a part of. The
guitar solos alone are blisteringly good enough to warrant picking up a copy
for the mere $7 asking price.
5 First Ave., Port Monmouth, NJ, 07758, USA