OBSCURUS REX – Stand Up And Be Counted (EP)

OBSCURUS REX – Stand Up And Be Counted (EP)
Released Year:
1. IT2. Your Enemy Tonight3. 4 Justice4. Red

“This journey begun as a dream quite some time ago. When the timing was right, we took a leap of faith with no possibility, reason or intention to turn back. In the process we had to overcome several serious difficulties which only made us more focused and determined than ever… So, here we are: We stand up to be counted!”

This is the self-introduction of OBSCURUS REX on the first page of their EP’s booklet. As they explain, “Stand Up and Be Counted” has been the result of devotion and determination; the need to make their stand and share their music to as many people and as far as humanly possible.

Let’s start from the beginning. OBSCURUS REX is a new band from Athens, formed in 2021. So far, their only release has been their debut EP which came out last year in March. The band is the brainchild of bassist Panos Karabelas who recruited some seasoned musicians, like multi-instrumentalist Dimitris Sakkas (SLOUGH OF DESPAIR, GOSPEL, DEI UMBRAE, HORRORGRAPHY, MISANTHROPY APOTHEOSIS, ECTOPLASMA) on drums and Manos Xanthakis (OCEAN’S EDGE, ALPHATATE) on vocals, and although Kimonas Alex (ex-SOCIAL SCREAM) is credited for playing the guitars in the EP, OBSCURUS REX have now in their ranks Constantinos Mavroyiannis (ex-THE SILENT RAGE).

Musically, “Stand Up and Be Counted” is very interesting as it seems unclear regarding to its musical identity – not in a bad way at all but obviously because of the many and varied influences the band have sought to incorporate into their sound. They could fall under the category of prog rock if not for Manos Xanthakis’ voice that can definitely fit them to heavy metal genre. Opening track, “IT”, strongly reminds of the swift tempo and intense energy that surviving classic 70’s bands have nowadays; to bring DEEP PURPLE to mind is quite a success I dare say! “IT” is speedy and punchy and it contrasts with the “Your Enemy Tonight” that follows, which is more melodic, darker and undoubtedly influenced by IRON MAIDEN of the Blaze Bayley era. Next one, “4 Justice” is the track which I liked the most; it’s a sweet and emotional song, more complex than the rest, with a great, multi-faceted guitar solo and wonderful compositional development. Finally, the eight-minute “Red” serves as an almost power ballad; slow and operatic in style with a nice rhythmic outburst and the repeat of the epic chorus before the end, it offers the perfect closure to this richly enjoyable EP.

Keep an eye on OBSCURUS REX; Forgotten Scroll does so for a long time and I just felt like it was about time to review their first release.

“Stand Up and Be Counted” was self-released on March 28th 2023 on CD.

Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.

You can pre order the CD here.

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