Ophidian I - Desolate (2021)


Unleashing a brutal feast of technical proficiency and crushing aggression, today we have Iceland’s Ophidian I and their sophomore release “Desolate”. In the same vein as bands like Obscura, Hour of Penance, Persefone, etc. this band is ready to kick major ass with the boost of being signed to a label like Season of Mist. If you like speed, technicality and craftiness, this release will blow your mind.

Wasting no time to turn up the intensity to 11, “Diamonds” unleashes blistering guitars and pummeling drums as it waves back and forth musicianship and brutality. The band’s ability to seamlessly transition between crafty guitar leads and neck-snapping tempo changes is quite brilliant, as one can hear in “Spiral to Oblivion”, “Storm Aglow”, and one of our favorites “Unfurling the Crescent Moon”. Not leaving any brutality to the side, the harsh growls and aggressive drumming nicely round things up.

Nicely changing the tempo for a bit, the classical guitar opener of “Captive Infinity” perfectly leads into a more melodramatic approach mixed in with the band’s usual intensity. Lining up their most punishing tracks on the back end of the release, “Enslaved in a Desolate Swarm”, “Jupiter”, and “Dominion Eyes” are two of our favorite pieces as the band mixes chugging Death Metal with their superb technical powers to create very enjoyable and at the same ‘old-school’ sounding songs.

As a whole, “Desolate” is quite an intense and engaging release. We particularly love that the band’s sound still has the old-school Death Metal core that many Tech DM bands are missing. The musicianship is awesome, and the guitar wizardry in pieces like “Wither on the Vine” is just next level. If you like Tech Death Metal that does not dwell much in whatever-core territories, this is the release for you.

Band: Ophidian I Album: Desolate

Label: Season of Mist

Release: July 16th, 2021

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Genre: Technical Death Metal

Country: Iceland

Rating: 97/100

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