French horror metal act Kamera Obscura are very well versed in what makes horror soundtracks unnerving yet uniquely inviting. Previous releases were reminiscent of Rob Zombie and The Haxans in their blend of eerie industrial and very melodic metal. Kamera Obscura are definitely more metal than hard rock, as there are strains of groove, thrash, and doom, even if vocalist Cecile’s sinister vocals are mostly sung rather than screamed. Their latest slice of sonic terror showcases a good bit of growth and a further development of a signature sound. The Final Cut is still haunting and hooky in equal measure, but the use of horror’s classic soundtrack style is much more organic and, well, creepy now.
The album’s best moments nail that balance between evil and devilishly addictive, like “Maniac”, which feels indebted to the skin-crawling classic Suspiria in its witch-y vibe. It’s a downright evil tune that is only upstaged by the delightful instrumetal (get it?) update to the Phantasm theme. The only minor issue is that it sounds like Kamera Obscura were more concerned with mood than melody on this outing, resulting in a record that goes down very easily (if you’re into the idea of metal jams with your horror soundtracks) but doesn’t quite leave a lasting impression, at least not as much as it should, given the consistent quality of these songs. Kamera Obscura should appeal to those looking to creep up their melodic metal, and it’s clear that this French band are on their way to mastering this style.