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Album Reviews : The Ophidian Ascension – Ire

By on January 16, 2014

The Ophidian Ascension have been a band of some interest (to me, at least) for quite a few years. Being, for want of a better term, obscure since their beginnings in 2009, they have secured a small, but nonetheless strong, fan base leading up to their original 3-track demo that was released in 2011. This band has earned a particular place in their genre as well as the music scene at large. Having enjoyed the 2011 demo immensely I have always been keen to see what lie ahead for this extreme metal quintet; with their demo being well received among fans, and the release of a single in 2012 which showcased a more defined and raw force behind their style.

2013 saw the release of Ire, an impressive and certainly powerful debut EP from The Ophidian Ascension. Boasting a modest five tracks (Six if you include the Intro, which I don’t), this diffident work has, on display, the vicious ferocity that The Ophidian Ascension is known for in their live performances with a clarity and refinement that comes from top level production; and these two elements work in an excellent synergy, bringing you a true, volcanic and brutal experience.

This EP is completely and utterly relentless. To the slow, monotonous Intro, settling in with a notable sensation of dread (despite it sounding a bit that BWAAAH noise you hear in movie trailers lately), kicking straight into Gates of Gehenna; the EP does not let up. The ruthless and pounding intensity of the drums, the alacritous speed and energy of the guitars, the sturdy menace and boom of bass and the raw and chaotic bellow of the vocals; everything showcased in this EP sweats and bleeds fierce precision and passion.

The Ophidian Ascension, in Ire, has placed on exhibit the fruits of a well wrought labor, and on merit of that alone it is worth a listen. In regards to the music (which is, ultimately, why we’re here), there is a typical method that tends to follow bands of this genre, and as a result, tend to fall into the trap of sounding alike. The Ophidian Ascension, whilst fitting firmly into their genre and style respectively, have broadened their margins enough to keep that raw vigor that is indicative and innate of this breed of metal whilst maintaining an identity.

Each song, whilst unique and distinct, all bear this heavy and crushing beast of music, imposing and evident in each note. To single out one song out of this EP is somewhat difficult, as they all complement one another very well; each track sharing elements yet still bringing something new to the table. With genre and force being the order of the day with Ire, the matter of theme is easily overlooked, especially in this EP.  Take, for instance, The Great Apostasy and Theophobia; whilst the titles might tell you all you need to know about the topic, the lyrics speak for themselves. No joke intended there either, as a writer (I do have a life outside reviewing music you know) there is a potent, perhaps better to say, virulent tone to the lyrics that serves alongside the ferocity of the music excellently and is carried by the delivery perfectly. The disconnect that often happens with metal bands, where music and lyrics don’t completely amalgamate, is one of the strongest points of this EP, and considering the already high quality of the music and production, that in and of itself is an achievement.

There is not really much more I can say about Ire from The Ophidian Ascension aside from that this EP is a superb piece of work that not only demonstrates the band’s sheer ferocity to a new audience, but is sure to fuel the fires of their current, unshakable fan base. If I were to summarize the work, I would say it is “Short and Sweet”, but even that may not be enough to do it justice. Yes, EPs by their nature are short, and Ire offers enough of a taste to be a sufficient tease where the sweetness comes from the complete lack of mercy in the tracks. Raw, powerful, ferocious, brutal; but clear, defined and exact, a perfect balance for a sophomore release from a hitherto obscure band. If you are a lover of Extreme/Death Metal and haven’t heard of The Ophidian Ascension before, I am sure you’ll be hearing from them soon enough; and I don’t think it too impertinent to say that you’ll definitely find yourself playing this EP on repeat more than a few times.

Band: The Ophidian Ascension
Album: Ire
Year: 2013
Genre: Brutal death metal
Label: Skull and Bones
Origin: Melbourne

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. Gates of Gehenna
3. The Great Apostaphy
4. The Discordant March
5. Awaking Prophecy
6. Theophobia



Hailing from parts unknown (actually, it’s Melbourne), Tristan is a freelance writer and lover of metal, with a special place in his heart for Power and Folk metal. After playing in a number of local Melbourne metal bands, and completing his Bachelor of Arts, Tristan focuses his attention to the pursuit of writing, practicing the Liechtenauer School of swordsmanship, dabbling in Cosplay and reciting Babylon 5 quotes; in addition to hunting for a publisher for his novel. Until then, he enjoys metal, writing about metal and convincing people around his office that he is immortal and has lived for 3,000 years. (So far only the chick in HR is buying it)