Ophidian Coil- Denial | Will | Becoming

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, April 20, 2015

Serbian black metal band Ophidian Coil formed in 2013 and released a two-song demo last year before putting the finishing touches on their EP Denial | Will | Becoming. In collaboration with Avenger vocalist/guitarist Honza Kapák on drums, this duo has put together five songs that are able to move between extremely aggressive riffing and haunting melodic passages. While it doesn’t quite reach that truly stand out level, there is still plenty of substance and it’s clear that with just a bit more development this could be a group that will turn some heads.

After a short keyboard introduction builds up the atmosphere the instrumentals immediately switch gears over to blasting, aggression. Ophidian Coil is able to strike that perfect balance between faster assaults and slower sections where the guitar leads skew towards the melodic side and build a thicker atmosphere that threatens to engulf the listener in a dark fog. Although this isn’t too far removed from what a lot of other European black metal groups have written in recent years, these guys are able to do it justice and provide enough variation between songs to keep it from feeling as though they’re merely repeating the same riff structures over and over again. What I noticed right from the start was that compared to some of the other newcomers out there Ophidian Coil boasts much better production values, as Denial | Will | Becoming has been recorded in a way that gives the guitar leads some space without diluting the intensity too much. This definitely works to their advantage, and while not every song is able to reach that truly jaw dropping level there are some moments where the EP comes close. In particular, “Hymns of Deflesh” is where the instrumentals seem to reach their highest point as the song builds up chilling melodic leads to a peak level before ending with an attention grabbing solo.

INIMICVS handles all of the vocal work on this release, and based on his previous album credits it seems as though this is his first recorded effort where he is behind the mic. You wouldn’t be able to guess this based on the strength of the performance though, as the screaming/growling hits the listener as hard as possible right from the start of “Gloria in Deo.” INIMICVS’s primary style is a fuller low pitched scream/growl that is able to head up and down the spectrum, but rather than simply sticking with this range for the entire EP some singing/chanting and even shrieking is added into the mix. The previously mentioned “Hymns of Deflesh” not only has some of the best instrumental sections on the release but also features some of the most intense vocal work Ophidian Coil has to offer as this is where some of the most ear piercing ranges make an appearance.

Denial | Will | Becoming provides the type of black metal that I find so enticing, as it is able to perfectly balance that chilling blast of all-out aggression and somber atmosphere that provides an ominous feel. Although Ophidian Coil doesn’t quite reach their peak level on each of the four songs, the potential is there and they’ve still put together an EP that I think is worth returning to even if it may not stand as one of the year’s best. Since this effort was recorded original member XIII.XIII. has left and the band has gained a new guitarist/bassist and full-time drummer, so it will be interesting to see how they can capitalize on this expanded lineup and reach that next level a little further down the road.

http://www.obscure-abhorrence.de/

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