Esens, Germany. Nestled at whatever end of Lower Saxony, where the East Frisian Islands form a barrier against the wailing North Sea, the town of 7,000 has slept the years away. Most people haven’t heard of Esens, once home to Baroque composer Philipp Heinrich Erlebach. But if they have, they’ve often confused it with Essen, Germany’s ninth-largest city. Well, that’s about to change. Not the confusing part, but the fact that rising death metal stars Nailed To Obscurity put Esens on the proverbial map with 2019 album, Black Frost, the band's first for Nuclear Blast Records.
Formed in 2005 by teenagers Jan-Ole Lamberti (guitars) and Volker Dieken (guitars), Nailed To Obscurity went through the usual ups and downs as a band. The Germans took their name from a song off Hate Eternal's debut album, Conquering The Throne, but that’s another story for another time. Mere months after forming, Nailed To Obscurity issued their first demo, Our Darkness. While most bands live and die on the possibility of signing a label deal, Nailed To Obscurity persevered, releasing their debut album, Abyss, independently in 2007. Certainly, line-up shifts were part of the progression as a band, but Lamberti and Dieken - the band’s primary songwriters - pushed on, with Jann Hillrichs (drums) and Carsten Schorn (bass) forming the rhythmic foundation. By the time, the group ushered in Opaque in 2013 and King Delusion in 2017 - both for German independent Apostasy Records - they were a different band entirely. Burial Vault vocalist Raimund Ennenga had replaced Alexander Dirks in 2012, and the rest, at least for the present, is history.
Today, Nailed To Obscurity remains Lamberti and Dieken’s labor of love, but the duo is far from authoritarian in the way they write music. In fact, while the two axe-slingers comprise the creative core, Nailed To Obscurity complete songs as a band. They flesh out ideas, structures, and arrangements together, jamming in front of one another instead of the computer or bedroom wall. This is something that persists to this very day. Even as recording technology advances at a frantic pace and members of Nailed To Obscurity are spread out over Germany, they still shack up on weekends in the rehearsal room in Esens to write together.