|Review: Ophidian Forest/Haeresiarchs of Dis - Darkest Origins|
Label: UW Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: October 30, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)
This split has an interesting gimmick in that it's comprised of unreleased demo material that's been fully reworked, remixed, and remastered from both bands. I have no prior experience with either band's material, so I can't say how far they may or may not have come since these demos. What I can say is that while the material on offer far from perfect, it's generally enjoyable.
The first half is taken by Ophidian Forest, who play a woodsy, low-fi kind of Black Metal similar to Primordial's early material. They have that same kind of wall-of-sound style you'd find in most Pagan bands, but while their riffs are fine, they're not really good enough to carry the songs for as long as they are. The biggest sticking point are the vocals, which are a rasp that's kept back in the mix that are so distorted and flat that they sound like a crow angrily cawing at me for food. Overall, it shows a band that has a decent grasp of what they want to do and simply need more work to get there.
Haeresiarchs of Dis take up the rest of the disc, and they are a more of an experimental second-wave Black Metal band with some damn solid riffs and entertaining songs when they aren't up their asses with experimental bullshit. Sadly, they pad out a lot of their material with atmospheric nonsense that goes nowhere and generally wastes space. This shows a band (or guy, as it's a one-man band) who has a lot of great ideas and some serious ambition that seriously needs to rein in his worse impulses.
Overall, this split serves as something fans of either band will probably like it better than I do and a curiosity for anyone else. Decent stuff, but for the sake of both bands, I hope they got better since their darkest origins.
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