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Illum Adora – Ophidian Kult

Illum Adora
Ophidian Kult
by Ben Gardiner at 26 October 2021, 10:05 PM

The second full length from ILLUM ADORA, "Ophidian Kult" is a further delve into satanic and occult driven Black Metal.  The album unites elements of Thrash, Doom and Black to create a nihilistic tribute to old school Metal, whilst exploring the vast philosophy of Satanism within the lyrics. Branded as Non Serviam BM, Latin for “I will not serve,” words first uttered by Satan himself and a term long since used in the world of heavy music, ILLUM ADORA serve only nasty riffs and headbanging songs.

The album has a bittersweet opening, beginning with an emotive acoustic guitar melody, performing over an atmosphere-building rain fall. The vocals enter in the form of a bone chilling whisper, turning the sweet sounding guitar riffs to sinister. Synths are added to the composition for an uplifting turn. The intro song packs a whirlwind of emotion within its two-minute runtime. “Profanation on Command,” comes in hard and heavy, a tremolo guitar riff and a striking hammer blast beat. The vocals tear through the sound in a very gripping way. The snare is abrasive, popping clearly and loudly. There are some great rolling drum fills and a variety of beats in just this first track, slowing down in choice places to lend more room to the guitar, and being a dominant force in the blasted sections. The vocals are aggressive and strained, with the singer clearly demonstrating lots of passion in the more screamed sections. The vocal style is relatively unique, bordering on higher pitched goblin vocals but never crossing that line.

Track four, “Nausea” is a standout song, from its solo drum intro to the screeching guitar lines that hugely contrast some of the deeper tones heard later on. The consistent roar that underlines the instrumentation adds great atmosphere; the speedy double pace you hear around the halfway mark which nicely leads into a groove metal style section. The hymnal vocals and the return of the blistering double bass coming to the end of the song make for an immensely heavy and very memorable section, it’s a great song from beginning to end. “Messiah to Purgatory” brings the thrash, with its driving, headbanging drumbeats and consistent riffs. We see a return of the Synths, in an angelic but short-lived appearance that feels very out of place considering the prior gung-ho instrumentation.

Lost in Reverie” is a much slower, doomier song, the longest on the album, and packed with different sounds and sections, including some intimidating spoken word sections, double bass sequences, and a variety of riffs. It has the sound of a proper classic metal song, with the exception of the vocals it wouldn’t sound out of place on an IRON MAIDEN album and if we exclude the vinyl only bonus track of this album, it’s a wonderful finale.

This album packs quite a lot through its runtime, and allows each instrument, drums, keys, guitars and the bodacious vocals, their time in the spotlight. The production could certainly be improved but it only adds to that feeling of listening to a classic metal album. There some really exciting and engaging moments and it doesn’t take long to find another. This may only be ILLUM ADORA’s second album, but they know the atmosphere and effect they want to create, and they know how to achieve it.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  6
Production:  6

3 Star Rating

1. Last Gaze Upon the Wintermoon
2. Profanation on Command
3. Dark Tower of Gorgoroth
4. Nausea
5. Tief Unten
6. Folter
7. Messiah to Purgatory
8. Winds of War at Holocaust Sky
9. Lost in Reverie
Hurricane Hellfukker – Guitars, Vocals
Mortüüm – Drums
Record Label: Folter Records


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