Ophiolatry
Transmutation


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ben Worsfold USER (7 Reviews)
June 9th, 2012 | 17 replies | 1,456 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Seek a copy, give it a spin, and return transformed. Or, very possibly, transmuted.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Despite the lack of media attention it receives in relation to the musical community, Brazil remains a country responsible for some excellent metal bands despite their lack of mainstream recognition. Of course, the most pointed example of this proves to be Sepultura, an act responsible for creating some of the strongest, most consistent albums of the genre. One only has to listen to their seminal effort ‘Beneath the Remains’ to understand how, heedless of their less than privileged background, the band have blended their tribal ethnicity with a raw thrash sound to superb effect, creating something of a classic in the process. Glossing over their recent decay following Max Cavalera’s departure, Sepultura remain evident of how unbeknownst communities can still yield groups worthy of recognition beyond the minority clique. This is far from a solitary statement, however- Brazil has a far greater splay of talent in its underground scene equally deserving of such respect. In particular, one death metal band, signed to Forces of Satan records- a label owned by legendary Gorgoroth member Infernus, no less- caught my eye as a stark reminder of how unique and innovative a different lifestyle can render one’s music. They are Ophiolatry, a band whose moniker means ‘worship of serpents’, and whose second album ‘Transmutation’ is as traditionally rooted as it is experimental in its modernity.
Listening to the opening track of ‘Transmutation’, namely the disturbingly unusual ‘Parricide’, one may be forgiven for thinking that the initial swirl of acid-infused synthesisers heralds a rather flawed musical approach. True, alone it sounds alarmingly reminiscent of a dubstep introduction, but, when the guitars explode into life, it becomes something rather more. It offers an element of contrast. Ophiolatry aren’t trying to be different for difference’s sake- their use of these modern aspects actually accentuates the crushingly heavy riffs that pervade throughout the remainder of the track. Indeed, this experimental mixed-modern/ethnical touch implementation runs throughout the album usually to intriguing and interesting effect. The closure, interludes and indeed some segments of the song structures themselves all pose light to otherwise suffocating shade, offering distinction between the band and other purveyors of their genre. Of course, this is not to say they forgo standardised death metal sounds in any measure- the band hit just as hard as any other peers that the casual listener may associate to their style. It’s just that Ophiolatry prove more engaging to immerse oneself in through their desire to diversify.
At heart, though, the band retain a very traditional death metal approach, filling their album with guttural roars- which are, as a side note, very convincingly delivered, something which is becoming rarer in the modern world of production technique- thunderous blastbeats and refined technical aggression. The riffs here aren’t flaccid like so many we see in the current scene: they all have bite and impetus, as well as a pervasive individuality. Indeed, the musicianship of the band is undeniable. Whilst creatively some of the heavier sections of the songs blur into one another (the constant attack of some songs, despite their generally short length, wears one after a few listens), they all prove brutal enough for anyone’s tastes, reminding me personally of modern-era Suffocation, in particular ‘Abomination Reborn’ from the self-titled album of a few years back. The songs themselves consistently are deliciously harsh, something complemented by the drumming which is in itself unusually good for an underground band. Tracks such as the phenomenally fast ‘G.O.D?’ whirl past with insane conviction, packing all the fury of a scud missile and continuing to please despite the rather lacklustre solo efforts offered by the lead guitarist. For the diehard fan, all the traditional elements are here. For the modernist, the experimentation and adherence to the aggressive template prevalent in the current scene are also.
In conclusion, Ophiolatry have produced something quite rare for the modern death metal underground: an album rich in experimentation (just listen to the tribal overture of the concluding ‘Preludio No.4’!) that still has enough barbarism to avoid alienating purists and elitist minorities. Whilst not without its flaws, ‘Transmutation’ truly engages, something so many bands find it increasingly difficult to do in a world saturated with similarity and mainstream-influenced tastes. Of course they can hardly please everyone, but Ophiolatry will reward the open-minded metal head with an inflection of national culture, post-modernism and, of course, stunningly brutal death metal. In this band, Brazil have found their next Sepultura- admittedly, they will never be as big or as widely accepted as legendary figureheads of their genre, but Ophiolatry show the same verve and talent as their bigger cousins and deserve just as much attention from those who really value every facet of the world’s musical community. Seek a copy, give it a spin, and return transformed. Or, very possibly, transmuted.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheRedPen
June 9th 2012



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I apologise for the lack of paragraph spacing- my computer decided it would be fun to ignore the lines I left between them! Anyway, please, enjoy the review.

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have this rated at a 4 but i dont remember what it sounds like and its not on my PC anymore

hmm

Digging: Tobacco - Ultima II Massage

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well i deleted over 90% of the death metal from my computer it was like over 150 gb

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

takes dedication to be a death metal master dude

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012



17339 Comments


metal is gay

Digging: Monolake - Interstate

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i wish youd make 1 funny post out of ur 8,507 :{

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2012



17339 Comments


he made some funny 1s i remember i was like "haha fade that was actually funny"

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seems like thats the only thing u try 2 do

BodomThrashMachine
June 9th 2012



316 Comments


Dun matter what you're here to do, that's all you accomplish. Jester hard :D

ThrashTillDeath94
June 9th 2012



564 Comments


Your the biggest douche on the site, that much is absolutely certain. For whatever reason you find joy attacking things that others love, but you do it in a failing way, You cant even troll properly... Since i have been here i have never seen 1 useful post from you.

Digging: Opeth - Still Life

Anthracks
June 9th 2012



3639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well thrashtilldeath94 some people like to waste their precious time doing nothing important so i suppose he has that right

DoubtGin
June 9th 2012



6686 Comments


genre bending

ThrashTillDeath94
June 9th 2012



564 Comments


I suppose your right, Anthracks...

Raz0rGrind23
June 11th 2012



419 Comments


Yet another thread fagged up by RiffOClock...

Gonna check this one out. Good review

KILL
June 11th 2012



67082 Comments


Raz0rGrind23

glezz
June 11th 2012



235 Comments


He is retarded. He can't help it. He has been held back 3 times in the 4th grade.
If you go to a Metal forum and post Metal is Gay, you should be immediately banned. And take the Short Bus with the other waterheads.

CaptainDooRight
June 21st 2012



26409 Comments


I thought this review was over-informative and wordy. As a word of advice, you don't need to make the review so tedious to read to express your point in a effective manner.

Overall, besides that, you did a fine job and I look forward to seeing how you progress as a writer on this site.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II



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