Obscurus Orbis is a Latvian medieval music band, formed back in 2007 by Lord Mortis and Veina. They met the other band members while traveling to various medieval themed events and slowly the line-up was complete. Obscurus Orbis use ancient musical instruments and they try to create an atmosphere that will transfer the listener to Medieval times. In 2012 the band finally decided to self-release its debut full-length album “Primus Inter Pares” after many years of hard work.
This album includes 12 tracks, with a total duration a little over 39 minutes, but only 2 of them are composed by Obscurus Orbis. The other 10 are authentic early medieval themes from all around the Europe, covered by the band’s own style. They use only acoustic instruments, like bagpipes, flutes, rauschpfeifes, Irish bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, Celtic harp and drums. All of their instruments have a very natural sound and the whole album gives you the impression of a live recording and not a studio work, something positive in my opinion for this genre. Most of their music is instrumental, since they use vocals, both male and female, only in 2 songs. The band claims to use the loudest bagpipes and indeed bagpipes is their most dominant instrument! Despite the different geographical origin of each song from all around Europe, Obscurus Orbis have managed to make “Primus Inter Pares” sound as a solid album and not as a compilation of songs, something very difficult! They interpreted these themes in a very personal way, adding their own elements in the compositions. Except for traditional drums, the band also uses modern drums that often give a “metallic” touch in their sound, preparing you for the entrance of electric guitars, something that doesn’t happen. At least in this work, since there are some other songs, where they seem to experiment with metal and electronic music…
If you are into traditional medieval music, “Primus Inter Pares” is an album you should definitely check. Based on my personal taste, the only think I’d like different is a lower sound in the bagpipes, giving a little more “space” to the other instruments. Anyway, Obsurus Orbis create a wonderful authentic medieval atmosphere in their songs, taking very seriously what they do. They have performed in many Medieval festivals and events around Europe, including Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany and Romania. “Primus Inter Pares” is self-released in a standard jewel case edition CD with a 4-page booklet. You can visit their official pages below and listen to their music.