Barbarity - Keeper Of Oblivion

Barbarity is a death metal band from Russia and were formed in 2002. Their early releases engulfed the brutal death metal sound of the early 00's. Their latter works were more death metal oriented and they even added in some grindcore elements. Having found their personal style in death metal and sounding far better than many other European or American death metal bands around, it was high time they would release their 6th full length "Keeper Of Oblivion".

The man behind Barbarity's drum kit, Anatoly Chebotar, was the drummer of one of the earliest Russian bands, the legendary band Mortifer (1990-2000)! Mortifer first name was Knyaz Serebryanyi and Thanatoly (as he prefers to be called) was their drummer from their formation in 1988 until their name change to Mortifer in 1990! Thanatoliy's relentless and distinctive drumming with the low-end bassy production enriches the brutality and darkness and creates the necessary atmosphere for "Keeper Of Oblivion". His dynamics are excellent, his ideas in drumming are mature and the themes he performs perfectly fill every riff/part of the songs. Sergey "Bonif" Lopukhov crunchy, thick, crispy, undistorted heavy tone bass is perfect for the style of Barbarity. I also enjoyed the bass being high at the final mix.

Alexander Gorshkov on guitars shows his skills in performing a variety of themes from Mercyful Fate influenced intros (please listen to 'Disfigured And Burnt') to classic death metal riffs, brutal death metal riffs and grinding faster themes. Alexander is a skilled guitar player with nice tremolo picking and thick, but at the same time clear notes. I enjoyed his guitar dialogues with Sergey's bass. The leads Alexander performs sound harmonically and melodically excellent and have a sweet tone. When he decides to play some sicker chords sequences, Deeds of Flesh are the first band which come to my mind.

"Keeper Of Oblivion" also marks the return of Barbarity's original vocalist Roman Kudelya who is back to give some of the most barbaric brutal death metal vocals of today. Roman's vocals are excellent, they perfectly fit Barbarity and are a very strong asset for the band.

Having listened to all Barbarity's previous works, I can see in their 6th opus their progress in playing inhumanely sick and relentlessly brutal death metal.

In terms of technicality, compared to Barbarity's previous works, "Keeper Of Oblivion" is undoubtedly advanced. The basis of their sound is the early 90's death metal and bands like Cannibal Corpse of the Chris Barnes era and early Deicide, but they manage to bring on their sound to the present without sounding too catchy, modern or polished. On the contrary, "Keeper Of Oblivion"'s production is swampy, dark, underground and hideous. At the same time the production is also brutal bringing to mind bands like Mortal Decay, Immortal Suffering and Morpheus Descends. The production brings out the material of the album and highlights certain parts. For example, the beatdown of the same title song with the addition of studio sounds is horrifyingly brutal and sick.

Barbarity's songwriting is generally rather impressive throughout the whole album, but I would like to stay in the idea of using an instrumental track entitled 'VI' to set the mood before the album's closing track 'My Lonely Grave'. This is the best way to close the album indeed recording an old school death metal anthem! Doom awaits behind the corner, thunderous drums blow you up just before the burst of a psychedelic trip in the middle of the song launches 'IV' to levels of unbelievably high quality. The lead guitar that follows sinks into a swamp of old school death metal riffs. The acoustic psychedelic sounds abandon the listener helplessly buried and hopelessly forgotten...

Having followed the band over the years, I can see Barbarity are probably at their best period, they have an excellent line up and they offer us in "Keeper Of Oblivion" an excellent death metal album that if you are into death metal, you will have to check out! You won't regret it!


1. Slave For The State
2. Die In Bloodshed
3. Keeper Of Oblivion
4. Suicide Is Not Weakness
5. Disfigured And Burnt
6. When Heaven Turns Into Hell
7. Under A Tombstone
8. VI
9. My Lonely Grave