Rating:
7.0
Ophidian I - Solvet Saeclum
June 2012


01. Mark Of An Obsidian
02. Shedyet
03. Solvet Saeclum
04. Zone Of Alienation
05. Tectonic Collapse
06. Ellipse
07. Nadir
08. Ethereal Abyss
09. The Discontinuity Of A Fundamental Element


On paper, Ophidian I's Solvet Saeclum debut album has interesting aspects to it: technical death metal, brutally intense, complex, for fans of Obscura, Necrophagist and The Faceless. But does it live up to the expectations?

The album cover is hellish and dystopian, evoking the end of the world, and so are the lyrics used to portray that image. What we have here is entangling technical death metal, which displays complexity and intricate riffs, but the more interesting songs are the ones that present more melody, atmosphere, and something a little bit more different than that mold of precision. Some songs sound so clinical that it seems like the musicians are inside their heads all the time and thinking too much. Songs like "Shedyet" with its groove, good pace and commanding words present some of the best moments of the album whose main setback is the inability to be sustainable in its high points. The weaving bass and outbreaks of genius shifts are also among those high points.

The Obscura influence is clear but that is not a problem; what lets the album down is that it needs more variation and standout moments to compensate for the familiarity we feel with certain riffs and song structures, which are competent yet sometimes bland. Having said that, at least the band knows where it stands. They know how to play their instruments and show it, but occasionally it makes you question if the music itself is taking a backseat to the execution.

To answer the question of the first paragraph: well, yes and no. It is certainly complex metal, albeit not impossibly fast, but in comparison to what it promises to be, what it does more is spark your curiosity, which isn't such a bad thing to start with. If the band connects more with their songwriting ability, considering this is only their first album, the future might bring good things.

Highlights: "Shedyet", "Ethereal Abyss" and "Mark Of An Obsidian".


 



Written on 29.04.2013 by
BloodTears
News chief, random reviewer, professional progger and wannabe surfer.
More reviews by BloodTears ››



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MechanisT - 29.04.2013 at 21:36  
I always wanted to check this one out but forgot about it for one reason or another. This well-written review will serve as my wake up call.
BTW I never expected you to review a tech death album. :3
psykometal - 29.04.2013 at 22:43  
Don't feel bad Mech, I was shocked to see her name on tech death review too... No offense Ana.
Apothecary - 30.04.2013 at 00:12  
I'm really cautious when I check out modern tech death, cuz a lot of it to me falls short of your classic stuff like Death, Atheist, and Nocturnus and just sounds like overly complex waffle focused more on raw virtuosity than actual composing ability. However, you make these guys sound appealing in the fact that they do get into a bit of a proggy atmosphere here and there. Love Obscura and The Faceless, so I'll give this album a peek. Thanks for sharing
Cynic Metalhead - 30.04.2013 at 06:47  
Nice review.

Well, now i really want Milena to come up with a deathcore review and break the monopoly ceiling of "sticking to prog reviews only".
BloodTears - 30.04.2013 at 11:20  
Thanks for your comments, guys

This is my first tech death metal review so I understand the surprise. I do however review more than prog. It was nice to try something different too because while I listen to death metal and enjoy the virtues of tech, I don't usually review it.
Aebsi - 30.04.2013 at 20:29  
Pretty good review exactly how one would describe them, I at least. Well these guys do show they got some pretty interesting ideas.
Fritillaria - 29.07.2013 at 12:43  
This is one of Technical Death metal albums which is still interesting for me after several listens, and nice review and I so much agree with : " What we have here is entangling technical death metal, which displays complexity and intricate riffs, but the more interesting songs are the ones that present more melody, atmosphere, and something a little bit more different than that mold of precision. "

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