If you’re anything like me then you’ll enjoy the history of genres and music in general. I love a good discussion on the sort of ‘what came first’ theories, where do genres begin? Why the sudden leap? For example look at the likes of Slayer and then Death both represent a new level of extremity, but how does one get to the other. Even in the modern age new genres spring up out of no where then lead to a great deal of interest, even Dungeon Synth a current obsession of mine has reach a sort of peak and now people seem to be digging up early albums from the genre out of no where. It is the sort of research that I find intriguing and intellectual.
Speaking of roots let us now look to a legendary band from the Death Metal underground. The band originally formed in 1986 under the name Incubus whom released such Death Metal classics as Serpent Temptation and Beyond The Unknown. Sticking with their Death Thrash sound the band went through a name change in 1999 thus becoming Opprobrium since then they have released two new full lengths (excluding their numerous re-issues etc of the aforementioned albums) the last of which being 2008’s Mandatory Evac. Thus a new chapter looms, 2019 brings us The Fallen Entities from High Roller Records. Can the band live up to their legacy through this modern release?
It would be fairly safe to say that no time is wasted as the Howard brothers smash into action with Dark Days, Dark Times with a sort of early Sepultura ferocity, this is real anger fuelled Death Metal with Old School grit that transcends into the realm of Thrash through the pummelling drums and frantic guitars. The solos are given that special Slayer-like attention as they cascade into unending noise laden terror bringing yet more Thrash influence to the surface. So there we have it strong riffs, strong drums, hellish Old School vocals, what could possibly go wrong?
As with many of these sort of comeback style bands there is a vast lacking in memorability, Creations That Affect, the titular track, Throughout The Centuries and Obstructive Behaviour all display elements of brilliant musicianship and total purist Death Metal worship but they fail to become much more than that and thus fade away into obscurity devoid of the excellence in which the bands status shows. That said the album is very listenable, it is totally inoffensive and absolutely savage in terms of sound, unfortunately it is just lacking something. As I spoke of earlier about a Sepultura vibe that is what this album needs, more of that, the earworm nature of the likes of Arise and Beneath The Remains, but alas no.
So here we are yet another disappointing album from a Death Metal legend. I always like to see bands continue but sometimes you can’t help but think they will never reach their peak again such is the case with Opprobrium. My honest advice, go back to the Incubus records, treasure them and cement them in the history of Death Metal for all time. Leave this later day resurgence for the already indoctrinated at least existing fans may find some joy in it. As I have stated none of the record is bad as such it just lacks that little bit extra, if you’re after a bit of easy listening Death Metal though then The Fallen Entities is for you.
(6/10 George Caley)