Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Opprobrium - Serpent Temptation

There is something endlessly appealing to me about the power of old school death metal - especially in the grand old style. The fact that we can hear a band like Opprobrium (Formerly Incubus, and no, not that Incubus) unleash Slayer worship like Voice From The Grave on their re-release of Serpent Temptation speaks to the enduring power of the genre. Serpent Temptation is a potent release because it reflects not just a time and a place but it is also infused with a sort of gloriously satanic energy that only the greatest bands have ever been able to invoke.

I think one of the first things that struck me about Serpent Temptation is that there is a surprisingly unique riffing style. Sure - the band conforms to a lot of traditional old school death metal tropes but still, things feel surprisingly melodic, without ever going towards Leprosy levels of guitar wizardry. As mentioned before - the Slayer worship is a key component of the record and drives a lot of the vocal patterns, but even then, the band is bale to put just enough of a death metal edge to keep things interesting. Surprisingly charming is the dungeon level production - it reminds you that despite all the critical praise the band has received these were still just kids having a good time - and there is a profound beauty to that.

And so we beat on, our hearts improved by the glorious odes to Satan that only a band like Opprobrium can properly evoke. Serpent Temptation is a fun listen not only because it's some great fuckin' music, but it feels genuine. There is a very real quality to what the band is doing here and as you hear the manic circle pit inspiring riffing on songs like Incubus (Opprobrium) it's hard to not feel transported back to high school when all that mattered was primitive brutality. This is a band who have always understood the nature of death metal and this is the perfect blast to the past for the twenty first century.

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