Album Reviews

Ophis – Withered Shades

Released By : Solitude Productions

Genre : Traditional Doom Metal

Links : http://www.myspace.com/ophisdoom

Lineup:

Phil – Vocals, Guitar

Jan – Guitar

Nils – Drums

Ollie – Bass

Tracklist:

1. The Halls Of Sorrow

2. Suffering Is A Virtue

3. Earth Expired

4. Necrotic Reflection

5. Halo of Worms

Three years after highly regarded full-length debut in 2007, Traditional Death/Doom masters OPHIS have returned with a second helping of some of the gloomiest tunes that will ever flow through your ears. 2007’s STREAM OD MISERY was a bit of a revelation in the Death/Doom genre and when I discovered that they were about to release their second album I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t be able to live up to the expectations I had for them. Happily I was quite wrong this time around and the new album WITHERED SHADES is every bit as good as its predecessor. There are a few less songs this time around, but of the five on offer two of them run to the fifteen minute mark and the others are all nine minutes plus, so there is still plenty of music to divulge on this release and listening to it can be a quite overbearing feeling.

The main thing I did notice on WITHERED SHADES is just how slow some of the tunes crawl along, I know doom metal is slow music in its essence, but some of the tunes on this album take slow to a whole new level. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your taste. For me I did get a bit restless every now and then when some of the more repetitive riffs were reaping at a snails pace, but then every now and then a tempo change, or the occasional blastbeat section get me sitting up straight again. The vocals are of the full gutteral growl variation and it would take a brave man to say that they could understand the words without the lyrics book handy. Luckily for me, I did have the lyrics handy and really enjoyed reading along to the somber words that seem to tick all the appropriate boxes for a good doom metal release.

If OPHIS can keep their run of great doom metal writing at this pace, they may well become one of the most important bands of the genre later on down the track. Until then though, WITHERED SHADES id more than enough to keep most death/doom fans happy and certainly an easy purchase for fans of the groups previous release.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 8/10


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