Ophiolatry is another band that, like their labelmates Black Flame, is a true force in the black arts to be reckoned with. Ophiolatry (the worship of serpents) has more of a grind aspect to their sound than their respected brethren. Relentless blastbeats and truly brutal guitar work that have the ability to pummel the listener into a fine powder. The band hails from Brazil, a country known to take its metal seriously and believe me when I say that these guys arent fucking around. With Transmutation, theyve taken their fellow countrymen Sarcofagos mantra of Fuck Off Melodic Black Metal to a whole other level. The vocals are more of a death-rattle than can usually be found in black metal, but Ophiolatry challenges the notion that black metal has to have a uniform sound. What they, along with label Forces of Satan, prove is that the sound is secondary to the attitude when it comes to classifying your sound as "black. This is a pretty fast listen, sixteen tracks in thirty-two minutes. But its quality, not quantity that counts. Theres also a welcome element of experimentation with the inclusion of instrumentals like Urutu and Variacoes 1 that balance the brutality with beauty which gives the album as a whole an even more unnerving feel.
So many black metal bands get stuck in the rut of conforming to the genre and theres not necessarily anything wrong with that if it isnt broke dont fix it. But you can push the envelope of expectations without sacrificing the original vision. Ophiolatry can potentially kick that door of possibilities wide open, but as with anything, this can also lead to less-than-sincere intent on future artists part. This stands as yet another reason its good to have labels like Forces of Satan around with a clear and concise purpose - to weed out the weak and dishonest and to embrace the real.
8.1 / 10
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