Classic thrash/death metal that doesn't compromise it's raw sound
For those of you who haven't heard of Opprobrium, that may not come as a surprise. The band from Metairie, Louisiana, has gone under this moniker since 2000, when they released the album Discerning Forces through Nuclear Blast, but since then they have been on a bit of a hiatus. Before that, the band had taken a ten year break after their first two releases, and were known as Incubus. This name was dropped to avoid a legal battle with the now popular alternative rock band of the same name. I have no doubt that fans of Opprobrium have been eagerly awaiting this release, and there are probably more than a few people wondering whether or not the band can live up to former glories, or whether they have withered during their time away.
The new album Manadtory Evac is all about raw, crushing death metal with some really great thrash elements. Bands like Exodus have probably been a big influence on these four guys, as well as some of the classic death metal bands like Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse. There are two brothers in the band, drummer Moyses M. Howard and vocalist/guitarist Francis M. Howard, who are both originally from Brazil, and some of the traditional latin drumming styles shine through subtly on tracks such as the title track Mandatory Evac. Along with the unrelentless and always creative and dominant drumming, the vocals really left a mark on me, as they were almost understandable, but just as aggressive and powerful as anything heard in classic death metal. Probably one of the most interesting things about the band is that much of their lyrical content is based on their Christian beliefs, but they don't mind crossing the path and touching on the subject of death and horror. The band display some progression in their songs. Although they are short, there is never really any riff repetition from the rhythm section, so the songs almost play out like a story and not so much a structured song. It's hard to find an album these days that can deliver crushing aggression from start to finish, but Opprobrium pull it off with ease, as their final few tracks are probably their fastest and most devastating.
Opprobrium have reignited a love for death metal in me. They haven't gone to the trouble of adding symphonic elements, or female vocals, or even the bagpipes in order to do something new and unique. Instead they have just stayed true to their style and delivered an awesome death metal release that fans of Metallica, Devildriver, Sepultura or Exodus can all enjoy. If I have to wait another eight years for Opprobrium to come knocking again, then it's an eight years I'm willing to wait for quality like this.
(Metal Mind Productions)