The boys from Obtest began the band as a black metal band in 1992 before quickly switching over to a folk image and sound. Early demos from 1995 were Oldness Coming and Prieš Audrą. The band also issued a live video. The band’s debut album was dedicated to Prussians. A couple of singles and demos preceded the sophomore record. The band toured Europe in 2000 and 2002. Gyvybės Medis was recorded in Poland and appeared on the band’s newer label. Obtest’s Gyvybės Medis album was released in early April in three different formats, digipak, compact disc and picture vinyl, by Osmose Productions. A collectors’ A5 sized CD book was being issued by Ledo Takas Records. The album was nominated for something called Lithuanian Alternative Music Awards. The band played elsewhere in Europe in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Arturas Gusevas left in 2012. Prieš Audrą was a demo compilation of the band issued by Ledo Takas in 2012. Karolis took his place, but the band was inactive.
The group calls its music ‘Heathen War Metal’ and refuses to use folk rock instruments.
OBTEST - IS KARTOS I KARTA - LEDO TAKAS
It seems like Lithuania's Led Takas is a principled record label. The new album of Obtest comes in a couple of formats, features English translations to the titles and lyrics and enjoys a professional sound and packaging. The label even promotes its bands - what do you know?
Obtest is actually a solid listen. The band's roots seem to lie in the realm of the punks, although much of the melody on Is Kartos I Karta (From Generation To Generation) stems from folk a la early Amorphis. A good example of this sound is the song Pergale. In contrast, its follow-up Griausmavaldys is faster and wilder, for instance. The vocalist is a regular yeller and sounds like a sicko. Long instrumental sections seem deliberate and tie the knot between Impaled Nazarene and Amorphis. Obtest is a serious contender. - Ali "The Metallian"
OBTEST - GYVYBES MEDIS - OSMOSE
By signing Lithuania’s Obtest Osmose Productions has picked up a winner. Previously on the domestic Ledo Takas Records, Obtest has now signed to a major underground label and would surely benefit from this association, as Osmose will from the group’s accomplished music. What is that? Obtest bridges the gap between melody and Impaled Nazarene. With a sound nestled firmly in punk hardcore and Baltic folklore, the quartet-that-occasionally-turns-into-a-quintet adds some gothic melody atop a barrage of speedy metal to create something particularly its own. The Lithuanian lyrics (although all song titles’ English translations are provided) further set the band apart. It is startling how tight and accomplished this band is. Whether in speedy mode, pounding or melodic Obtest rages with power and ferocity. The song Sviesa is a good example given its pounding sound and simultaneously involved guitar melodies. Amazing. The title track is next and beats the listener to a pulp with its speed, although yet again the song is never lost. The band’s guitar solos clearly are held in reserve and are too short in order to keep the listener wanting more.
Obtest has it all. Although a higher snare drum presence in the mix would have been justified. No one would accuse the band of being weak, while the elaborate compositions, self-reliant style and hard-hitting sound complete the package. Obtest passes all tests. Check it out. - Ali “The Metallian”