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Ophidian Forest: Plains

Plains is the second release from Croatian/US/Dutch pagan black metal outfit Ophidian Forest. Pretty interesting fact about this band is that the three members have never physically met; Guitarist/bassist Zaragil lives in Croatia, drummer Otrebor lives in San Francisco, and vocalist/keyboardist/lyricist Amalgamoth is from the Netherlands. All three however met in the cyber world while writing for US metal webzine Maelstrom, and decided to put Ophidian Forest together, swapping music files over the internet, and a band was born.

On this new release, which comes in an attractive mini-DVD clamshell case, the band once again go for the juggular, with nine tracks of pulverizing, punishing black metal. If you like your black metal raw, savage, and nihilistic, you've come to the right place, as Plains will more than satisfy your extreme needs. Amalgamoth has the perfect vocal delivery for this stuff, as his demonic, frenzied wailings on tunes such as "The Heathen Revolution" and "The Eagel" go hand in hand with the relentless barrage of tremelo picked guitar riffs and jackhammer blast beats. Good to hear the band toss in some variety on the almost doomy "The Frozen Plains", as the band project a picture of icy cold, barren wastelands, complete with agonizing, almost tortured screams & rasps over mountains of keyboards, blasts, and textured guitar patterns. One of the strongest tracks is "Messiah of the Trees", a kick ass slice of black metal mayhem with some terrific riffs, and the closing epic "The Nightly Plains" is 13 minutes of atmospheric black metal, nightmarish sounds, and even some punk inspired metal for good measure.

Plains is pretty strong when you consider that the three members of Ophidian Forest have never actually met in person, but in this digital age, this sort of thing happens pretty often. If you like your Pagan Black Metal with plenty of fire and intensity, you'd be wise to check into this one.

Track Listing

  1. The Morning Plains
  2. Fenrir
  3. The Eagle
  4. Gnostic Nightmare
  5. The Heathen Revolution
  6. The Frozen Plains
  7. Messiah of the Trees
  8. The Times They Are Decaying
  9. The Nightly Plains

Added: December 12th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1493
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Ophidian Forest: Plains
Posted by Denis Brunelle, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-04-10 06:54:17
My Score:

Plains is the latest release from the international trio known as Ophidian Forest. California is where the drums were recorded; the guitar and bass parts were cut in Croatia and the vocals were done in the Netherlands.

I've reviewed their previous release, Redbad and this new album is pretty much in the same vein. Indeed, nothing new is brought to the table here. This is mostly over 45 minutes of raw and generic black/pagan metal. The pace is often fats with blast beats, double basses galore and regularly ventures into the moderate range. If you like buzzing basses and highly distorted guitar work, then this is really for you! The vocals are ranging from the undecipherable screamed/forced to deep/beastie rasps, with some clean back vocals popping in once and a while. Then you can also hear a touch of harmony created by keyboards here and there amongst the, generally speaking, rather noisy recording. Power chords, distorted leads, a bit of arpeggios there and tremolo picking leads are scattered across this album. Of the nine tracks, I could only find a few good parts, but no great composition as such. "Gnostic Nightmare" has its melodic moments for instance. Same thing for "The Frozen Plains" with a certain wildness included. The Mighty Plains is perhaps their best composition. I liked the echoing keyboards, doom-ish guitar playing, the moderate pace and the melodiousness aspect of course. This closing track is then followed by a two minutes silence that unveil a hidden track. The no-name tune is better sounding and has certain catchiness in it; too bad it's not mentioned.

Plains is for the raw, noisy, repetitive, fast and somewhat melodic type of metal heads.

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