Withered Shades (2010)

I don’t know how is it in your cases, but in our country (moreover, globally, in the whole world) labelling and building prejudices work too well, let it be about either man, religion, political identity, woman, wine, redemption… if I cast a look upon Ophis‘s logo, many things drop to my mind but doom-death. At first sight I would guess it to be some sort of black metal, within that the even more occult and devoted side; instead of that, the aforementioned slow murmuring will be our mate. I could be blamed anyway, because I didn’t know the formation, neither by name. By the way Ophis were founded around 2001, since then they had released a demo, a single and two full-lengths; one of the latter stuff gives the reason for you’re reading about them right here and now, as a courtesy of Solitude Productions.

As it is usual in the case of bands of the same style, the sound is deep & as a good friend words this: it takes your life down, haha. Slow paces change here and there to massive mid-tempos and are completed with knocking double drums. At a few themes the music ends up in old school death metal rhythms and flaps. Though the band’s genre is doom-death, I dare to say I heard additional ifluences like early Gorefest, Benediction and Bolt Thrower during the playing time of little more than one hour. Of course none of the aforementioned bands show such a long-streaming acoustic penitence on their palettes as Ophis do on their actual release. Pillars of dying and resignation crush to the ground in this ancient, solitary castle, which was constantly washed by rain and bitten by frost, richly armed with excellent melodies and somewhere in the background there’s quietude too as sedation and ease & man keeps on struggling in the flood among the fateful, giant ruins. It’s depressive vibe can be compared to Bethlehem‘s early releases, the only difference is that Ophis is not structured of frustration, but it is a rushing train into Death. Certainly there are names like early Anathema and My Dying Bride that linger beyond, but I think these are just obvious influential aspects in the pile of these doom-death stuffs. The externalities were handled by Dusan Belohlavek; that oppressive, dirty mixture of the booklet matches the not-too-life-affirming texts well, and getting back to the aformentioned prejudices: even the cover would allow anyone to guess it is a black metal horde, anything but the actual genre Ophis exist within. In this long-term penitence, well-composed songs and finely executed improving melodies will accompany us, along with every segments of self-destruction and suicide. Another strong point in the overall picture is the conception which leads from doom trough death to misanthropic black metal, with a plenty of twists and introduction, from the speedy to the intensive, and of course it leads into a great dive as well…

…this chasm would smoothly be able to swallow the human soul, however we could hear more profound spaces compared to this before, although the selfish reincarnation of sucking in stands for this situation as well and it’s evident & obvious.

/English translation by Vorst/

Frog Leap
május 29.
Ritual Howls
május 29.