Sure enough, “Priestiality” kicked in with a deep, booming doom metal touch that resonated through my skull, only amping up the anticipation of what’s to come. Two minutes pass, and I’m met with a violent assault of blast beats, just as furious guitar-work, and a well matched mixture of growls and rasps in the vocals. Bludgeoning would be the appropriate word, making my head bang along to the frantic music obediently. But what really grabbed me by the balls was the brief groove-heavy passage approaching the four minute mark, throwing in some of the nineties Death Metal flair that made Cannibal Corpse a household name. The only gripe is that the conclusion didn’t quite live up to the escalating pay off, but, as a whole, the experience was worth it, and I walked away ready for another round.
“Besieged” kicked in with a far more technical death metal assault. The bass guitar twanging along in a fury, proving the more dominant instrument next to the lead guitar’s complexities and the drums maniacal patterns. Just past a minute and a half, I was met with some more grooves, laying it on thicker thirty seconds in, but the transition was well done, especially heading into the guitar solo that held a hint of middle eastern flair at the start. Of course, it doesn’t last. Before long I was neck deep in the intense fury that kicked things off once more with veins pumping my blood a mile a minute.
And therein laid the first problem on my end. While not detrimental to the album, I was riding a euphoric high of brutality, one that wound up dying off fairly quick with “Tyrants Condemnation”. It started off slow, taking a cue from thrash metal bands like Slayer before finally slamming back into the speed just shy of a minute in. I was removed a bit at first, but the track slowly began pulling me back in with the echoed gutturals and sudden shifts between hostility and commanding grooves with solid backing drums, mostly from the steady bass kicks. I could easily sense a bit of hardcore influence to the death metal presented, especially around two minutes in when the music suddenly shifted to having more of a rebellious attitude shy of diving head first into a breakdown. It’s a little out of place at this junction, but, overall, far from a bad performance. If anything, it just feel poorly placed, even without hearing the other four tracks of the album.
By “Immaculate Deception”, I found my interest waning. No, the song itself isn’t bad, it just doesn’t quite have the same venomous rage the first two songs introduced that immediately hooked me. If anything, it seemed a little more mild in comparison even to “Tyrants Condemnation”. The twang of bass guitar was largely removed as well, resorting to deeper pulses to back simpler riffs that progressed in more of a standard form not long after the performance began. By three minutes in, I still sat waiting patiently for one last explosive outburst, instead met with a decent addition of black metal that also felt a bit on the typical side.
And this is where I decided to call it a day. While I was incredibly impressed at the start, I wasn’t sure if it was just my interest beginning to fade, or if the material had started to slowly go downhill. As it stands, I absolutely love the first two songs, and even the third was alright for what it was. I’m anxious to check the rest of the effort out, but I’d still rather take a few days away from the black metal world to start fresh before even beginning to put my official critical thoughts down for all the read. Opprobrium is shaping up to be a fairly strong release at this junction, and I’m thinking it’ll live up to fan’s expectations.