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Opprobrium - Mandatory Evac (CD)

Opprobrium
Mandatory Evac
by Yiannis Doukas at 28 January 2009, 8:44 PM

Somewhere in the beginning of the 80s, probably at 1982 the Howard family that lived in Rio De Janeiro of Brazil took a decision and immigrated to USA and specific to New Orleans. Two brothers of this family Moyses the older and Francis had already started their journey into the magic world of Heavy Metal. Starting learning some instruments, the first one drums and the second after encouragement from his brother in guitar, the creation of their own music started spinning to their minds.
The year 1986 brought the birth of their band, with the name INCUBUS and after some changes in the line - up, they found the bassist/vocalist Scott La Tour. Before his entrance the band's music included some covers and original material more into classic Heavy Metal. But the brothers wanted something faster and more violent and there was the perfect chance since Scott had the same musical tastes and the same visions for a group. The result?
The beginning of 1987 found the trio inside a local studio recording their first songs. In May of the same year the debut demo was out under the name Supernatural Death including four killer songs, Serpent Temptation, Sadistic Sinner, Voices From The Grave and the Incubus. Aggressive music, a mix of Death and Thrash like it was common back in that days, look the first PESTILENCE or the debut of NECROPHAGIA. Killer music with bombastic riffs, the cover is cult with a dark strange thing rising from the grave, Death Metal in its first deadly steps. Songs like Sadistic Sinner with a fantastic basic idea or the intro guitar mid - tempo holocaust of the Incubus showed that this band was something more than a common one.  Except these four tracks they had also recorded six more amazing ones, Death, Cataleptic, Rigor Mortis, Hell's Fire, Assault and Blind Vengeance but unfortunately remained in the misty catacombs although you can find them somewhere in the internet and are worth checking, believe me. Death is an super fast tornado and once again the power and the mighty force of their mid - tempo parts like in Blind Vengeance will leave you with the mouth open.
The band's popularity was extended via the demo and their live appearances in the USA scene. During January of 1988 they entered at Southlake Studio again in New Orleans and the debut official album was out. Serpent Temptation released via Brutal Records with distribution by Metal Works in Europe and a cover painted by the middle Howard brother, Reginaldo who was the person responsible for the band's name. Maybe the best release from INCUBUS, an album that loved by many world headbangers with its unique sound, strange deadly vokills, blood exploding riffing, furious drumming that drives every listener into endless banging. Being one of the first Death Metal records it includes all the vital Thrash Metal elements together with an overdose of poisonous vocals. The four before mentioned demo songs are present here, with a more crystal sound, that raise the adrenaline. Some fast and furious parts, like for example Sadistic Sinner become a little more slow gaining more brutality and aggressive face.
It must be mentioned that INCUBUS had a unique style for their sound. Although fully into their times cliche it's not so easy to understand their influences. Many things from SLAYER are clear but they broadened them into more 'panic and chaos' by their fastening drumming. Thrash metal right in front the gates of Death. To end, a must for any serious extreme metaller, although it's very difficult to be found these days. If you find it somewhere, bite it instantly.
Two years passed with some changes. First of all, Scott suddently gathered all his equipment and left. Probably Francis's decision to take over the vocals was a reason (he also did guest ones on Stronger Than Hate of SEPULTURA and on Skull Full Of Maggots of CANNIBAL CORPSE). After his departure Scott played with the Thrashers HAATE that released a demo in 1990 named A Taste Of Hate. The remaining brothers entered the famous Morrisound Studios for the forth - coming release that found them playing everything. The sound changed into a more middle era of SEPULTURA 'cause of the Francis vocal style that was close to the Cavalera's one plus a more Beneath The Remains music riffing. Except that, the new contract with Nuclear Blast opened more gates for them. Beyond The Unknown was as good as the debut, the eight songs inside are absolutely perfect in any part. The cover is once again creepy with the dark hooded figure becoming something like a band's trademark.  
One year after found INCUBUS for the first time in Europe in a tour with DISHARMONIC ORCHESTRA supporting them with a line - up that included except the two brothers the bassist Mark Lavenia and the guitarist Pete Slade whom maybe be known with their main band EQUINOX.
 And then absolute silence. A silence that was broken almost a decade ago, as OPPROBRIUM. Again with Nuclear Blast in their side, Moyses and Francis firstly decided to change their band's name probably 'cause of legal problems with the other pop crap with the same one. Second the went to Brazil and their birth town into the Discover Digital Studio and during November and December 1999 created the third opus Discerning Forces. The mix done by the master Harris Johns in his Spiderhouse Studio in Germany and the result was once again brilliant. The hooded figure once again present, reminding a lot to their funs, painted by the master Necrolord and the music although being more complex with dozens of riffs inside the songs kept the basic elements of the band's previous steps. With these 12 songs and all these ideas that were inside they could easily product another one album. And once again, silence! No tour, no information, no advertisement for their come - back, the band just raise from their coffins, released dynamite and then again go back to the tomb.
You can easily realize that when I learned that they planned a fourth album and a full, once again, come - back I was more than excited. The album did released but…
Well, Mandatory Evac suffers from a bad production. The sound doesn't have the right volume, the guitars are weak and the drums are looking weird. It could be an old school thesis but I cannot say that it persuades, the better world I can find is cool amateurish. Besides many songs looks uncompleted, take a look to Incident that is quite sympathetic but it could have been worked a lot more. Sometimes the vocals do not follow correct the riffing creating a chasm between them like being two different entities stacked together by force.
Some parts are good, songs like Dark Science, Never Found, No One At My Funeral or the self - titled manage to reach the basic standards of the band's past but they cannot be compared with them. In the previous OPPROBRIUM album we had a barrage of riffs that created destruction, now seems that the whole thing done in rush. Surely, tracks like Compulsive Worrier, Ignorance and In The Shadows could be missing, I believe that any time they can write much better songs. Or at least they had done that in the past.
The worst album of the OPPROBRIUM/INCUBUS history is here although I'm very glad for their come back. I wished for something better and I hope in the future this will come. Anyway, it's mediocre but I remember what offered me and I cannot say anything worst.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Dark Science
Never Found
No One At My Funeral
Incident
Mandatory Evac
Fake
Sports Of Danger
Daily Stress
In The Shadows
Compulsive Worrier
Ignorance
Sick Of This
Lineup:
Moyses M. Howard - Drums
Francis M. Howard - Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Metal Mind Productions
     


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