Mortem Obscuram
The Wretched Divinity

Mortem Obscuram initially got on my radar with their debut Eradication of the Human Endeavor back in 2021, a solid if unspectacular release of blackened/symphonic technical deathcore/death metal. It was OK, but I really didn’t give it that much attention, post-release. But boy, with The Wretched Divinity, they certainly have not gotten on my radar- they have shattered it.

And it should come as no surprise, as founder Dale Urban (also of Dragoncorpse) has surrounded himself with all new/different members from the debut, and it shows. Notably veteran drummer Bryce Butler of Shadow of Intent ( and ex-The Faceless, ex-Contrarian, ex-Abigail Williams) and bassist Alexander Bryce of The Breathing Process. Two pretty heavy hitters in the genre. Also new to the lineup is guitarist Trevor Redmon, and vocalist Mitchell Martin, who both appear to be new to the scene.

This injection of new blood as well as Urban honing his guitar, and orchestral compositions skills to Fransceco Ferrini (Fleshgod Apocalypse, Shadow of Intent) ish levels of cinematic grandiosity has resulted in an exponential jump in songwriting quality and an album that puts the band in the same territory as the likes of Inferi, Foretoken, Mordant Rapture, Stortgren and such.

I say that, as this isn’t Lorna Shore-styled blackened deathcore, but a much more technical, shredding, and black metal and tech death metal-influenced release. The keys are very prominent, and Urban has really upped his keyboard game, with some really dramatic, stirring epic choral/orchestral moments as heard in the imposing title track, “In The Absence of Light”, “Manifesting Impurity”, “A Testament to The Void” and “The Glass Kingdom”.

But it’s not just the orchestration, the new players and Urban deliver top-notch, blistering, technical black/death metal behind the keys as heard on “Awaiting Their Hopeless Eternal”, “Eons Away”  and closer “The Glass Kingdom”, arguably the albums standout long with the title track.

My only minor gripe is the album’s short 30-minute runtime, but that said there isn’t a wasted note within the snarling, feral yet majestic compositions.

How these guys are not on The Artisan Era yet befuddles me ( mean c’mon that logo and artwork are straight out of The Artisan Era’s catalog). Next album maybe?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 12th, 2023


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