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Ophis - Effigies Of Desolation (Reissue)

Effigies Of Desolation (Reissue)
by Spyros Stasis at 13 May 2013, 5:50 PM

I can promise you from the very beginning that after hearing only half way through the opening track of “Effigies of Desolation” your reaction is going to be: “Why the fuck haven't I checked OPHIS until now!?”. The Doom / Death band from Germany definitely knows the secret of crafting heavy, sorrowful songs of true Doom / Death Metal. Yeah!OPHIS is playing this actual mixture, not just extreme Doom with harsh vocals.

So “Effigies of Desolation” is a compilation / reissue kind of hybrid release. The first CD of this compilation includes all the songs found in the bands debut album, “Stream of Misery”, released back in 2007. While the second CD includes the “Nostrae Mortis Signaculum” EP, in addition to which it also contains a couple of live performance, two demo tracks (with surprisingly good production) and a rehearsal version of “Caressing The Dead”.

As to the actual music, it is quite clear what OPHIS music is all about: the most old school version of Doom / Death. The songs duration is usually more than seven minutes, and what you get is a mid tempo groove entwined with a Death Metal aggression in places, with great deep growls and rhythmic parts. Especially songs like the in your face “Dead Inside” have a certain character found in the heavier and groovier side of Death Metal, and mainly in bands such as ASPHYX.

Obviously OPHIS is not just bringing Doom Metal riffs along with their love for old school Death Metal. What is equally impressive here are the melodies that the band is able to incorporate to their songs and lift them up a bit further, for instance the almost disturbing clean part about six and a half minutes in “Godforsaken”, the haunting lead guitar near the end of “Beneath Sardonic Skies” and the early MY DYING BRIDE lead in “Funeral”. They even capture in occasions a very early CATHEDRAL (only of “Forest of Equilibrium”) vibe, for instance in “Black Wish”, just to stir up things a bit. For crying out loud, they even give us a completely orchestral song, “Nostrae Mortis Signaculum”.

Great death metal vocals, even some clean ones in “Beneath Sardonic Skies”, a sample of the “Exorcist” film, an early Death Metal groove and tons upon tons of doom metal riffs. Hopefully “Effigies of Desolation” will make some heads turn towards OPHIS, because they are one of these bands that do deserve to get your attention.

4 Star Rating

CD 1:

1. Godforsaken
2. Beneath Sardonic Skies
3. Dead Inside
4. Pazuzu
5. Dolor Nil Finis
6. Black Wish
7. Thy Flesh Consumed

CD 2:

1. Funeral
2. Kennel of Estrangement
3. Convert to Nihilism
4. Nostrae Mortis Signaculum
5. Pazuzu (live)
6. Convert to Nihilism (live)
7. The Halls of Sorrow (demo)
8. Suffering is a Virtue (demo)
9. Caressing the Dead (rehearsal)
Philipp Kruppa Vocals, Guitars
Nils Groth - Drums
Oliver Kroplin - Bass
Martin Reibold – Guitars
Record Label: Cyclone Empire


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