Written by Barlovv
Ophiocordyceps – Anthropocene
> Brutal death metal
> Released February 3, 2023
“The aliens will not colonize the solar system, as it is not advantageous to the proliferation of an evolved species, the sun is only a class G2 V star with a relatively short life cycle and is therefore useless for the purpose.”
So begins the first track off of this absolutely insane record from Ophiocordyceps. The song, very conservatively titled “Alien Rapture On Large Scale With Attempts of Administration of Fecal Herpes by Oral And Subcutaneous Insertions of Biomechanical Material in Order to Extract Human’s Nitrogenous Bases Sequences”, is exactly what I wanted from this absolutely brazen brutal death record. Instantly over the top, full of indecipherable, guttural sounds and what Troy Barnes would describe as credible alien noises.
It’s impossible to talk about this album without talking about the song titles. If you were under the impression that the title I already mentioned was a one-off, you would be sorely mistaken. I could honestly fill the word count for this review by just listing the titles and then writing “Album good” at the very end. A particular stand-out has to be “CH3*CO*COOH+COOH*CHNH2*(CH2)2*COOH < > CH3*CHNH2*COOH+COOH*CO*(CH2)2*COOH” – whose lyrics truly don’t shed a ton of additional light on just what the fuck that is. I’m sure a chemist can tell me in the comments, but for now let’s just enjoy the absurdity.
Absurdity is, really, what it all comes down to for me when it comes to music like this. What is your premise, and how far are you willing to take it. How closely will you walk the line between self parody and pretentiousness? The best brutal death walks that line beautifully. For example, take this exact album with its insane titles and apply it to a Sufjan Stephens or a Bon Iver, and somehow the bit doesn’t work. This album needed to be a brutal death metal album to work, and bless them all for knowing that. I will always defend brutal death and slam as the sort of “popcorn movie” version of metal, and I don’t mean that as a disrespect. If it turns out that all brutal death and slam bands actually take themselves and their lyrics 100% seriously and are offended, then that changes things for me. If it’s the kind of weird goofy fun that I think it is – then I’m vindicated.
Musically it’s what you expect. Absolutely chaotic and heavy from end to end. The album runs 34 minutes, which gives you enough time to read all of the album titles. It also, bizarrely ends on an instrumental track called “Nothing in the Void”, which is a 3 minute ambient song that almost feels like it has been transplanted into this album from somewhere else. Its an album that needs to be played loud, but also feels like the kind of thing that’s going to get you evicted from your apartment for playing it loud, so I suppose you do that at your own risk. That double kick is alive and well, and at times sounds like a quadruple kick, so if their drummer is some kind of alien octopus monster, I suppose that solves that mystery right away doesn’t it?
Honestly, you’ll know from me saying the words “brutal death” whether this album is going to be for you or not, and I know that convincing you otherwise is a Sisyphean task, but if there is an opportunity to defend this unfairly maligned genre, and shed light on some of the most over the top goofy shit that I can find (looking at you, Belarus Beaver) – then you know I’m going to do it. I’m sure that our editor Kep is reading this now and shaking his head at me for being so predictable but WHATEVER KEP. IT’S GOOD AND YOU KNOW IT.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don’t be surprised if this one joins Kanine and Belarus Beaver as a goofy AOTY pick. It’s big, dumb, and full of what I can only assume is bright green alien herpes, and I am here for it. I know that there are folks who will have stopped reading this paragraphs ago, but I’m telling you – embrace the absurdity and you’ll really have so much more fun. Embrace the “Infinite Echo of the Vibration of Death That is Propagated in the Unknown With a Perpetual Motion on an Inclined Plane”.