Ophiolatry - _Transmutation_
(Regain Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8 out of 10)
When Alex Webster stated back in the early Nineties that "the death metal band should always be striving to become heavier and faster", his mantra was taken literarily by a sizeable number of bands who would go on to follow in his footsteps, particularly it seems the Brazilian trio known as Ophiolatry. Cramming enough unrefined aural barbarism onto their Regain debut to send Mother Earth hurtling off her axis, Ophiolatry try their best to outdo their heroes in Krisiun, Angelcorpse and the like. But hidden amidst the endless stream of brutality and unrelenting blasting there's a multitude of surprisingly solid riffs too.

The opening explosion of "Parracide" and the record's title track both bristle with a tease of melody that's just sparse enough to add to the music's already apocalyptic atmosphere. On "Nominating the Oxen" an unexpected, if brief crescendo lends a further dynamic to proceedings, while on "Neuropsychoperverse" there's a respectful nod to their Scandinavian peers that's note-perfect.

The onslaught isn't entirely without its faults; beside the truly cringe-worthy instrumentals scattered across the album, some will undoubtedly balk at the hideously atonal and often pointless solos. If your musical tipple of choice is the sonic equivalent of a gunshot wound however, then chalk up another bullseye for the Brazilians.

Contact: http://www.ophiolatry.org/

(article published 3/2/2008)

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