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Opprobrium: Serpent Temptation (remaster)

Story has it that brothers Francis and Moyses Howard from Brazil formed a band called Incubus in the late 80's, playing a brutal concoction of thrash & death metal and recording their debut album called Serpent Temptation and a follow-up Beyond the Unknown before going on hiatus for a few years. In that time span, another band using that same moniker, the hard rock/pop/metal act from Florida, grew to become an enormous success, forcing the Howard brothers to change their name to Opprobrium. Discerning Forces was to be the first release under the new name Opprobrium, the duo even going into the studio to re-record their debut Serpent Temptation as well, both for Nuclear Blast Records in 2000. Having never heard the original version of Seprent Temptation, I can only tell you that this re-recorded edition (now remastered by Metal Mind Productions) is, as you can imagine, heavily influenced by early Sepultura. Plenty of raging thrash riffs and intricate drum patterns bashing you over the head on tracks like "Hunger for Power" and "Abductions", the vocals of Francis even sounding a tad like Max Cavalera on occasion. Most of what you get here, while quite serviceable, just seems rather ordinary and run of the mill, which is surprising seeing how much of a cult following Opprobrium has in extreme metal circles. It's not until the complex and savage title track that the band really starts cooking here, complete with brutal & intricate riffs and dizzying drum blasts, or the massive sounds of closer "Curtains Closed", that we really hear what this duo is capable of.

Though there's some very solid Brazilian styled thrash here on Serpent Temptation, I'll leave it up to you to decide whether it deserves the classic status it seems to get. This reissue is also not up to normal Metal Mind standards, as there are no bonus tracks, and the booklet is practically bare bones with no lyrics, no photos, and just one essay on the band.

Track Listing
1) Battle of Armageddon
2) Unseen Bereavement
3) Indulgence
4) Abductions
5) Prophets
6) Hunger for Power
7) Serpent Temptation
8) Curtains Closed

Added: March 20th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Metal Mind Productions
Hits: 2064
Language: english

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