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Ophis - The Dismal Circle Award winner

The Dismal Circle
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 25 December 2017, 8:30 AM

2017 is almost over yet here I am reviewing and discovering another amazing band.  Germany’s OPHIS is a Doom Metal band that is crushingly sorrowful and dark as black.   This is pure, straight up Doom with a Death metal mixture.  If that isn’t your typical cup of tea, then you stop reading this review because this band demands only the highest attention that can be paid to them.  Long songs, three of which are over 10 minutes in length, deep growls, and riffs so heavy they feel like a mound of rocks inside your head, round out the description of the album and its overall sound. If that is something you enjoy (and it should be!) then you have come to the right place.

The opening track, “Carne Noir,” blankets your senses immediately with despair.  The simple but heavy and dense riffs hit like concrete filled caskets, as does the slow paced but strong-minded drumming. Phillip Kruppa, who is also the vocalist and growls like he might be dead within seconds, and Simon Schomeck play the guitars and do the Doom well.  Against such a darkened backdrop, there are glimmers of melodic guitar that peak through, like the moonlight on a clouded night. Around the eight-minute mark, the song speeds up a bit and their Death metal influences shine through.

Dysmelian” is a bit more gothic but more in the sense of the slow dirges of MY DYING BRIDE than the more focused PARADISE LOST.  Beginning at 10:45 some more of a depressive melody comes shining through and it really ends the song well. “Ephemeral” is the shortest track on the album, at “just” under 7 minutes in length.  However, it is no less dark and rotten as the ones before it.  I love how the vocals are a mix between low growls and higher shrieks.  The middle part of the song is done with the instruments playing clean and it only adds to the Doom, rather than take it away.  There were several great Doom releases this year and this one is close to the top of the that despair drenched, hate filled heap.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Carne Noir
2. Engulfed In White Noise
3. Dysmelian
4. The Vermin Age
5. Ephemeral
6. Shrine of Humiliation
Philipp Kruppa – Vocals, Guitars
Oliver Kroplin – Bass
Steffen Brandes – Drums
Simon Schomeck – Guitars
Record Label: FDA Records


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