Ovid's Withering
Terraphage


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (341 Reviews)
April 20th, 2020 | 30 replies


Release Date: 03/20/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: These beastly boys are back.

The many faces of death metal have changed over the years; that much is undeniable. Whether it’s the pioneering moments found in the 80’s and 90’s (discluding the genre’s foundations as early as the 70’s) or the slow shift of sound into trends that lead to innovative amalgamations and bastardizations within a scene, metal has just about explored every nook and cranny conceivable to itself. The main problem the genre faces now is in saturation; whether that be in sound, influences or the access to new music bands these days are finding it harder to innovate and in turn, stick out from the mountains of new music being dropped every week. As listeners, we are basically taking new music for granted in this modern age. Our access to music is dependent on a few simple clicks with a mouse, a quick clacking of a keyboard or a thumb on a handheld screen. By simply having an internet connection we have access to a literal world of music - and with just about any medium, it’s quality varies. In this manner deathcore itself has had a rather rough time of things looking back at the genre’s last couple of decades. Apart from a few gems, shining from the rough, the genre itself has rather stagnated into a merry go round of trend hopping, yet completely stereotypical releases. Sure, we see this line of thought all too often these days, but it’s important to put the scene into perspective when analysing albums that do shine above the murk of a saturated genre - not because it’s an impossible feat. but because we should celebrate triumphs when and where they occur.

Hailing from the U.S., Ovid’s Withering have become a brand within themselves by taking symphonic elements a la SepticFlesh and combining with a low end focused, djent-y riff-centric instrumentalization. On paper, the formula is quite simple; write some technical deathcore and slap some symphonic elements into the mix - but instead of simply riding this trend, Ovid’s Withering takes a combination of sounds and transforms it into their musical identity. Terraphage itself feels like an expansion of the band’s previous efforts. The group’s debut EP, The Cloud Gatherer was itself, a sort of explosion of over-polished death noise; but the bare bones for the first full-length (especially considering the fact that the album featured tracks from the EP) were dropped well into place before the release of Scryers Of The Ibis. From this foundation, Terraphage steps up with an effort bolstered by intelligent songwriting and a production to match the album’s larger than life soundscapes.

In many ways Terraphage’s opening piece, “Oracles” sets this hour long slab of modern deathcore into a world of high expectations. But a few hitches emerge early; namely in the spoken word/demonic voices that usher in the closing of the track border on cringe, while some of the song’s transitions could be a lot smoother in comparison to how well the album is actually put together. Largely, Ovid’s Withering puts it all on the table within the album’s opening moments - warts and all. “Godless” however, is especially fierce and despite being dominantly chug reliant it’s here where Terraphage begins to excel. After a quick burst of frenetic energy the track relaxes into a groove, allowing for the band’s more symphonic elements to build on the atmosphere and bulk the overall sound out. That’s not to say the blast beats and vomit riffs become absent in the Ovid’s Withering design (in fact it’s quite the opposite), but the songs main elements have become more balanced here when compared directly to the debut.

As Terraphage progresses, some of the tracks begin to meld together. The piano led “At The Dreadlord’s Behest” is slightly too grandiose for its own good, but slams the listener with a “now” too similar soundscape, noodling its guitar leads around down-tuned guitar strings and rumbling drum sections. Similarly, is that of “Ballad Of The Lycan” which takes the symphonic atmospheric nuance of the album, pulling at the seams of a crescendo - before breaking off into the album’s more melodious offering, “Bloodscape”. By the time the Filip Danielsson (vocalist for In Reverence) and Jeffrey Fisher featured, “Tholg” comes into being, the listener is already showing the first signs of ear fatigue. In short, Terraphage could do with some light trimming; losing some of the belly fat in order to show off the album’s more chiseled abs.

The album’s clinical two part closer however is intrinsic to the album. In no small way would the album be the same without it. The band’s use of symphonics are ramped up, building an atmosphere that begins to suffocate - that is until the smooth female-led cleans open the tracks up, breathing in, and out, before “Corpsemover” falls back into the djent-y deathcore that’s so far defined Ovid’s Withering’s music. “Corpsemover” also brings back some standard song structures; because of the track’s underlying simplicity, the listener can fall quickly into a headbanging groove, reminiscent of a faux-Meshuggah, while being swept into the track’s [second part] now ravaging atmospherics. It’s a shame that the album’s use of spoken word rears its ugly head up in dying moments of the record, but apart from a few contextual imprints they fail to achieve the intended effect. Fortunately Terraphage’s overall aesthetic value outweighs the small blights on the record’s otherwise impressive sophomore. Sure, Ovid’s Withering are not the most innovative act this side of the 2000’s, but the band has found the style of music that will further define their identity moving forwards. Terraphage isn’t perfect; but it is a nominal release for a group looking to capitalise on the foundations found in other releases.




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user ratings (25)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I wanna 3.8 it.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtBlCrP3bjY - full album YouTube

https://ovidswithering.bandcamp.com/album/terraphage



joshuahuntkc
April 20th 2020


1887 Comments


did the mix feel off to you on this one? the first record is super clean. not sure what it is but the guitar and vocals feel kind of muddy to me and a little thin across the board.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nah this is pretty thicc to be honest.

joshuahuntkc
April 20th 2020


1887 Comments


weird ill have to give it another spin

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah it's less 'polished' then the debut, which favours all the low end. I have some issue with the less-deep screams - some of them feel underdone, but other than that it works.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


14361 Comments


Great review, your first paragraph is *****
I don't think I've ever heard these guys, I have to change that.


Digging: Convocation - Ashes Coalesce

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"your first paragraph is *****"



Wait,wot is this?

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


14361 Comments


Five stars mate

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Right, I took it as censored. Makes a bit more sense now lol.

solrage
April 20th 2020


166 Comments


Never heard of them, and I can't decide if that's the best or worst band name I've ever heard.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Legit though: I think the name is pretty what the fuck though

Josh D.
April 20th 2020


15829 Comments


You know, I've watched the Unholy Confessions - Unholy Cover Avenged Sevenfold they uploaded countless times, but never thought "oh yeah, they're a band, I should check them out"

TundraL5Z
April 20th 2020


4532 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy sh*t this sounds awesome (then again it's core so...), getting btbam vibes

SteakByrnes
April 20th 2020


19535 Comments


Hype to check, nice review roberto

Digging: Spiritbox - Singles Collection

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2020


12697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That's a juicy steak

Durrzo
April 21st 2020


2189 Comments


This is fun. It definitely blends a bit in places and is a lot to digest, but after a few spins I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

Thor
April 21st 2020


10284 Comments


why are yall listening to music made by pedophiles

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2020


26639 Comments


"why are yall listening to music made by pedophiles"

opened this thread, clicked to another tab, clicked back and couldn't remember what band it was bc
1 - i forgot
2 - this applies to like every other band on this site

Digging: Sweet Trip - You Will Never Know Why

bloodshy
April 21st 2020


1136 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

first paragraph is censored [2]

Durrzo
April 21st 2020


2189 Comments


"why are yall listening to music made by pedophiles"

It was one member and my understanding is that he is no longer involved.



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