Ophthalamia - _A Long Journey_
(Necropolis Records, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Re-recordings are always a risky enterprise for any band: they may go unnoticed by those who didn't know the album before and may disappoint fans who did own the original version and, since it's the one they know better, still find it superior. And what my experience tells me is that the original versions -are- indeed better most of the times. That's not the case here, however. Ophthalamia have taken their 1994 debut _A Journey in Darkness_ and gave it a very different treatment. The production is completely different (for the better), and the band's execution is significantly better as well. Most of the keyboards have been suppressed, which isn't as terrible as it might sound at first, and some structural changes have occurred. Still, the opening track "A Cry From the Halls of Blood / Empire of Lost Dreams" and "Enter the Darkest Thoughts of the Chosen / Agony's Silent Paradise" (which is now the sixth track) are as brilliant as ever. An extra song has been included, as well as a Venom cover, which is rather out of place in this album, especially after it has been closed by "I Summon Thee, oh Father / Death Embrace Me". The overall result, with all the instrumental and production improvements, is superior to the original and, despite Ophthalamia's annoying tendency to insert more 'rocking' sections very harmful to the atmosphere, most of the album is quality mid-paced black/doom.
(article published 9/1/1998)
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