Published April 19, 2013
‘Solvet Saeclum’ hints at greatness, but the band has yet to control their overzealous enthusiasm.
‘Solvet Saeclum’ is crisp and cutting like latter day Death but without the choruses and anthemic attributes. Its virtuosos are exhausting like Obscura, but without the crunch. Ophidian I follow what has become somewhat conventional technical modern death metal. The busyness and frequent change-ups are now a staple in an over-populated genre. Quite frankly, it’s becoming too much, and our local boys don’t add much to the flora.
But these guys have it all. They’re talented as fuck and their performances are stellar. Their guitar solos are probably the tastiest in Icelandic metal right now. They’ve penned awesome riffs and execute them with force and command, but the songs cannot breathe. There are too many licks and transitions flying around. The parts that want to connect with you don’t stand a chance. As soon as you think something is going to be built upon, there’s a shift robbing the song of its momentum, which happens too often to mention.
It’s far more challenging to kill your own darlings (in this case, simplify the structure and lose some riffs) than string together everything you come up with. Had Ophidian I done that, the album would be more memorable.