Obvurt – the Quebec-based death metal outfit featuring Philippe Drouin, a guitarist who relearned how to play left-handed after a car accident robbed him of his picking ability – have announced their first-ever full-length album, Triumph Beyond Adversity.
In a lyrical evolution from the band’s debut EP, The Beginning, which tackled Drouin’s car accident and subsequent inspirational recovery story, Triumph Beyond Adversity will explore wider themes, like the effects of the Covid pandemic and the “possibility of World War III”.
The album’s first single, Invisible Enemy, is a blistering riff-fest, with Drouin showcasing his relatively newly-acquired left-handed chops – including multi-string two-hand tapping guitar solo – over a cacophony of blast beats and stomach-churning vocals. Check it out below.
Philippe Drouin suffered a car accident in 2016, which resulted in a bone spur in his picking hand, rendering him unable to play the instrument he had been playing for over 15 years.
Determined not to be defeated by the incident, Drouin restrung his electric guitar and spent three years teaching himself to play left-handed under the tutelage of ambidextrous shredder Michael Angelo Batio.
“After being the victim of a car accident in late December 2016, I lost my picking as a right-handed guitar player for more than 15 years,” he explained in a 2021 interview with Metal Sucks (opens in new tab).
He says that in 2017, he bought his first left-handed guitar, and tried to learn how to play ambidextrously while trying to regain the use of his preferred right picking hand.
“I tried to recover and practice a lot, trying to get my picking back on my right hand in 2018,” he says. “I was playing both sides every day for a while. One day, I felt I was able to become left-handed, so I decided to leave everything behind and start over.”
Drouin played his first gig as a leftie at an elementary school last year, earning a rapturous applause from the children in attendance.
And in December, the guitarist showcased his dual playing powers in a playthrough of Obvurt’s The First Light, using Michael Angelo Batio’s insane Double Guitar model.
Triumph Beyond Adversity is set to bring plenty more “crushing grooves, technical riffing, blistering drumming, triumphant leads and guttural death growls” when it lands on December 2 via Unique Leader.