Opprobrium – Serpent Temptation Review

Even though today’s bands are doing an amazinh in emulating the 1980s sound, it’s a little easy to recognize the real deal with little effort –  of course, as this isn’t a hard science exceptions happen all the time. First of all, the overtones, the more obscure is the production, the lower and graver they are. By lower and graver I mean sometimes almost impossible to distinguish the instruments. Second of all, and most times the most important, the sound of the drums. As drummers used different tecniques is easy to get the dissimilar sound. They are most of the times faster, almost nervous, with that machine gun sound. The tuning of the snare drums was a little bit different back then as well. Please, note that most bands of the 1980s had poor equipment. When I say poor, I mean poor quality. So, the sound isn’t clean and bright as it is today. For that, third of all, the sound of the guitars not only the quality but also the technique used. 1980’s guitarists mostly used different techniques their peers use today. Many of them used the pentatonic scale which give sound that fingering sound. I mean, the sound of many notes being played. The distortion pedals used gave also this impression. Fourth of all, and last – please! – vocals. They are harsher more like Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister.

That said, I present you Opprobrium with “Serpent Temptation” which is a reissue of their 1988 and 96 incarnations. In 1982, when teenage brothers Moyses and Francis M. Howard moved from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to New Orleans, Louisiana with their parents, they could not know that they would soon be taken by the nascent metal underground in the US and become forerunners themselves – but that is just what happened when they formed Incubus (now known as Opprobrium) together with bass player/singer Scot W. Latour in 1986. The trio released their debut “Serpent Temptation” in 1988, a pioneering milestone in several respects. With Moyses´ blastbeat drumming, Francis´ fast-paced riffing an Latour´s furious snarl, “Serpent Temptation” existed on the verge between thrash and early death metal.
This first effort got them a record deal with Nuclear Blast, who also released both its successors “Beyond the
Unknown” (1990) and “Discerning Forces” (2000, by then under the name Opprobrium) as well as, in 1996, a
new recording of “Serpent Temptation”: With Latour out of the band, Francis also took over vocal duties and reworked the lyrics in addition of also re-recording the bass for this alternate version.

What my dear child of the night will find here is everything I told before. That means, the pure essence of early Extreme Metal with the very careful recording the masterpiece deserve. By the way, up there I forgot to mention the heart! With all due respect, but bands back then had lots, but lots of heart.

Opprobrium “Serpent Temptation” was released on October 13th via High Roller Records.

Track Listing:

The Battle of Armageddon
2. Voices from the Grave
3. Sadistic Sinner
4. Incubus
5. Blaspheming Prophets
6. Hunger for Power
7. Serpent Temptation
8. Underground Killers

Watch official video here: