July 12, 2012

Ophidian I - Solvet Saeclum (2012)

Ophidian I (is it like Ophidian the First or Ophidian Me? No idea) is a young band hailing from Iceland who seem to have taken the two biggest trends in death metal cover artwork right now and merge them together. The cover of their debut album Solvet Saeclum - which roughly translates to dissolving the world, as far as I can tell -  features piles of rotting corpses, planets, cosmic space and MOTHERFUCKING SPACE SHUTTLES LAUNCHING OFF INTO ORBIT WITH EXPLOSIONS AND SHIT. I think it's great. For too long bands have been forced to choose between brutal depictions of beheaded corpses and cosmic landscapes - Ophidian I has paved a new road, a road where having the best of both worlds is possible. For that, I applaud them.

GJ, bros!
As far as the music goes, Ophidian I play furious technical death metal that draws its influences from bands like Decrepit Birth, Obscura, Necrophagist or Odious Mortem. This should be enough to let you know what you're dealing with: highly competent tech death played at a blistering pace, featuring occasional groove sections, varied, technical drumming, bass solos and a vocalist providing growling vocals that fit the music perfectly but are nothing to write home about.

I've seen people call this band "average" and I suppose it's true to a certain degree, especially if you were to compare Ophidian I to tech death titans like The Faceless, Gorod or Spawn of Possession. However, I do think that tech death fans have an aggravating tendency to become rather blasé after being exposed to countless hours of irrational fret board gymnastics courtesy of the aforementioned bands (or any other bands they might hold in high regard). It's easy, then, to forget, just how much work and passion lesser known bands like this pour into their music and to write them off simply because they are yet unable to stand toe to toe with your favorite freaky alien guitarists. 

What I'm saying is some people need to stop being such elitist pricks and give new bands a fair chance before casting them off into the meh barrel. Ophidian I show a lot of promise, they play totally decent spaceship metal and you should check them out.  Solvet Saeclum is a great debut album and hopefully the first of many more to come. 

Transcend the hate, brozillas!

Cheers to JGD for the rec.


  1. I'm charging $1.25 a day for the use of the term "fret board gymnastics".

  2. Forgot to credit you for finding this band. Sorry! :((