Australia’s seemingly burgeoning crop of top tier death metal acts seems to be all the more evident with the release of The Ophidian Ascension’s debut six track EP, Ire.
After the eerie intro of Ire descends into obscurity, the first breath of truly frightening riffs provokes thoughts of Demigod era Behemoth. The carnage of this beastly quintet only grows with each track as the song The Great Apostasy flexes Ophidian’s speed muscles whilst the final track of the album, Theophobia, delves into more melodic territory with some tasty leads. The Ophidian Ascension prove to have a knack for criss-crossing riffs which may prove to be the bands signature move in the future, as is evident on The Discordant March.
A great aspect about The Ophidian Ascension is that the band seem to strive to make a balance between unleashing very brutal passages with a sense of hooks and memorable riffs. The songs are structured in an intelligent way so that the listener is not bombarded with 1000 riffs over 30 seconds and can grasp the song without having to concentrate so closely. Although the EP as a whole is undoubtedly extreme, there is still a level of accessibility in comparison to some of Ophidian’s peers. They prove that brutality can be attained through 50 riffs and not 2000, cutting out the fat you might say, to focus on the riffs that really matter and bring them to the forefront.
The production is slick and the mix adjudicates for all instruments so there is no overpowering of insane drum fills. The vocals are deeply guttural but are perfectly audible and growled with clarity. Dual vocal screams are utilized regularly throughout Ire, which could be a downfall for the band in terms of live performances, but with songs this memorable and relentlessly brutal, it should account for a small criticism in an overall immaculate debut release.
Out now through Skull and Bones records.