OCTOBER 26th 2018


Welcome to MetalTitans, Guardians of Music Entertainment, worldwide. We took a moment to stop and write to Steffen Kummerer, founding member of German progressive band, OBSCURA. Last month, we got to see and review the band on their "Diluvium Tour", their first time back to North America in quite a few years. They are touring in support of their latest record, "Diluvium", and we got a chance to speak with Steffen about some questions we had about the new record, touring, and more. Check it out below:

Interview By: Metal Mom

Your latest album "Diluvium" landed at #3 on the Top New Artist Albums chart, were you excited about this, or do the charts not mean much, it is about the sales?

Entering the charts globally definitely has a certain impact on us. Every record climbed a few spots higher in all rankings and each new record seems to reach more fans and shows that our band grows with every release. We have not released our best album yet. Of course I am pleased to see that we are more successful with each record.

What made you call the album Diluvium, if I look up the word it says that historically it was a term in geology for superficial deposits formed by flood-like operations of water. Tell us what the name means to you?

Diluvium indeed is a term in geology which represents the physical meaning while a “great flood” also represent religious thoughts within an apocalyptic setting. To round out the third meaning, I read of the philosophical end of all ends where all time and matter dissolves into a big wave of nothingness. Aside from the meaning all four records are combined within a phonetic ending; Cosmogene-sis vs. Akroa-sis, Omni-vium vs. Dilu-vium to represent counterparts within a cycle.

Tell us what is behind the album, the lyrics, the inspiration and the musical side of creating it

Basically, the album represents the fourth part of a four album concept that started in 2009 with “Cosmogenesis”. “Diluvium” shows on a musical and lyrical side a possible end of all ends, call it apocalypse, within our little universe. Musically, you can follow my personal evolution as musician from our early steps “Illegimitation” (2003) up to our current record which contains the most advanced work up to this date as part of a long path we haven’t ended yet. Writing “Diluvium” turned out to finish the final piece of a ten year long running concept with a clear vision. The production was meant to support the lyrical theme and the arrangements followed the musical intention to create a sharp, direct and dry straight in your face production and attitude.

This is your 5th studio album, but the 4th in a concept series, (Cosmogenesis, Omnivium, Akroasis), what made you decide to call this the last of the concepts?

The whole idea is based on a closed perpetual cycle of life and death that finally might come to an end. The four records are connected within lyrics, artworks, photography and of course the music to represent one elementary piece of this idea. There won’t be a fifth album as part of this concept. Right now I am working on the next record and another row of connected albums though.

Who created the artwork for the album?

Orion Landau, an American artist works with us since 2008 and created a huge part of the visual identity of Obscura. Working with the same artists and producers within this long time shows the consistency of the band. Keep in mind we work with our producer since 2003. Both, sound, in terms of artistic studio production, and visuals have a huge impact in the history of bands. Just think about Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Cannibal Corpse and many more who created their identity with great artists. Orion might be the fifth band member alongside V. Santura.

Did you have any input into the cover, or give the ideas to the artist and see what they came up with?

Yes, all artworks are based on the lyrics and demos or pre-productions of the records. It took a lot of effort and time to find an artist like Orion who understands my intentions and ideas to come up with something unique and new.

Of the 11 songs on the album, do you have a favorite among them?  If so, why that one.

Picking out one particular song might be a hard task. I like “Emergent Evolution” for being a hit and transporting a certain melancholy during the whole composition as well as “An Epilogue to Infinity” for its heavy and groove laden beginning and chaos in the end as well as “Convergence” for being pretty much out of the box with a certain fragile feeling throughout the whole song, especially the tradeoff lead part in the middle.

Where does the inspiration come from when you guys write the songs?

The framework of the four records was given due to the long lasting concept. While we do not live in the same city, we barely write songs together. I rather write music alone in my studio and present the final ideas to the band and change minor details or arrangements instead of sitting together in a room and discussing for hours about a single chord change. If I have a clear vision I start writing and finish those compositions but get everyone involved afterwards. That is one reason why you find mostly single names in the credits of our songs.

Was it a long process from writing to getting it onto CD/Vinyl?

Writing the album took us around 12 to 18 months, recording, mixing and mastering three months in total.

You played Summer Breeze this year, was that a first for you, and how did you enjoy it?

Obscura performed four times at Summer Breeze during the last years, but 2018 this show marked the first show performing material from our brand new album “Diluvium”. From that view it was special for sure. I enjoy the festival and visited the event since 1998 when the area was way smaller and the bands seemed smaller.

Of the festivals you have not played before, is there one you would really like to get onto?

There are many festivals we haven’t played yet. Heavy Montreal, Wacken, Gods of Metal Rock in Rio are still on my personal bucket list. From all the bigger festivals I enjoed Hellfest in France and Brutal Assault the most to be honest. My personal favourite since many years is mid-size festival in Germany, Party.San festival with mostly black and death metal bands.

What do you want people to get from this album?

Just enjoy the record as a whole, including artwork, photos, visuals, videos in a relaxed environment with enough time to listen and understand the intention to get the right feeling.

September 13th you head out on tour, is there a certain city you are excited to play?

After our cancellation of Summer Slaughter in 2015 due to visa issues, I am glad we are coming back to North America in general. There is no particular city I am looking forward, the shows are more important than sightseeing.

After you do this tour, what is up for you guys?

We just confirmed our Diluvium Europa leg with Fallujah, Allegaeon and First Fragment as supports, then we head to Japan and a few more tours we will announce very soon. Enjoy “Diluvium” and see you very soon.

Thank you Steffen for doing this interview with us here at MetalTitans. We wish you much success in your touring cycle for the new record, "Diluvium".