Kampfar – Ofidians Manifest (2019) – Review

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Sometimes we have to get back to the roots. And look for that trve Black Metal that sounds so kvlt, it will just nail you to your seat. Those degenerate and depraved tunes that emerge straight from the pit. The sick riffs of a band, ready to push those proverbial boundaries.

A brand of metal so hot, it will burn you to a crisp, should you have the gall to approach too closely. With sounds that approach you from the depths of the realm of darkness. Those that don’t care if they hit the nerve of political correctness that threatens to imbibe us all.

And indeed, you need look no further North than to Scandinavia. The proverbial cradle of much of Black Metal, where remnants of the true unholy faith still live to this day.

So by Loki and his terrible minions, Kampfar‘s Ofidians Manifest proved to be just the record we needed. This is the darkly ominous energy I searched for. And one that talks to snakes to boot.

You gotta imagine their style. It is a bit like Carach Angren – the storytellers – that would grow themselves a true Black Metal spine. And join forces with Rotting Christ, together with some ideas that could emerge straight from Incarnate Astaroth and Totengeflüster.

Then, the band projects this goodness onto some sort of a Viking backdrop, complete with lonesome boats on dreary, grey seas. But don’t get me wrong, there is no doom in the sad sense. But you’ll get to experience the black dread the storyline incites when the victim cannot escape.

This is just fearsome Black Metal with snakes and bloodlusty interludes that would shame Darkend into submission. To the point that Kampfar‘s wicked siren song starts to sound like a crazed brand of a bedeviled Moonsorrow at times.

And for once, I really liked the kickoff of an Extreme Metal album. Ofidians Manifest launches into this mix of Black and Post Black Metal in Syndefall with an angry vengeance. Methinks also that Kampfar copied the infamous sounds of hell from the deepest borehole on the Kola peninsula. You know, the leftover from the Russian project that – years ago – tried to drill as deeply as possible into the earth’s crust. To find whatever there was down there. Yet – supposedly and as the lore goes – something else found them instead. So what better start could there be to such a record?

From then on, true and tasty dissonance unleashes itself on the unsuspecting fan crowd, once Ophidian starts on ye with its rancor. The Death Metal beats slammed onto a bed of rabid Black Metal were just what the doctor ordered. An irresistible track that just kept me glued to my earphones. The mastery of the video by the same name just offers the blackened cherry on this metal cake. Just hit the link below and let this blackened tsunami wash over ye.

In addition, Ofidians Manifest gorges with those fiery and totally wicked riffs, often living in this twilight zone between Black and Post Black Metal. But I really got a kick out of Dominans and this spine-chilling contribution of Agnete Kjølsrud in full action.

Yet, as the tracklist progresses, the power in these amps still gets to higher levels. Natt – for instance – with its airs of an evilly darkened Rotting Christ will just knock you flat. But – boy – the real finale comes with this duo Skamløs and Det Sorte, the two last tracks.

The former with its frugal, blazing hot, and totally pestiferous Black Metal style that harkens back to the early style of Scandinavian Black Metal. And the latter will just kick that escape hatch shut. The one you reserved for yourself to flee this very special circle of hell. And quickly, too, because the heat is piling up somewhat fierce. And you don’t want to turn into that aforementioned crisp, do you?

So to wrap this up some, Ofidians Manifest is one lava-hot piece of Black Metal. Or blackened anything, to be more precise. Kampfar – however – pretty much did what they do best, much in the vein of their former record. And that is to garnish their Viking lore with this sinful debauchery of hot meaty riffs and Dolk‘s brutal vocals. Yet this time, the band indeed upped the ante some more with the inclusion of guest musicians. Which – in turn – clearly increased the quality of this evil and dark magic potion.

In the end, Ofidians Manifest just delivers this much-needed metallic mana for this blackened soul in dire need of meaty howlings. A prolific offering of the Black Metal art of the first order, delivered in a manner not found very often in 2019.

Ed’s note: New record’s out. Try Til Klovers Takt.

Record Rating: 8/10 | LabelIndie Recordings (FB) | Web: Official Band Site
Release date: 3 May 2019

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