OPHIDIAN - Suffering/Dreaming

Ophidian - Suffering/Dreaming

12 songs
57:26 minutes
***** ****


Ophidian are one of the few bands that didn't disappear shortly after the Emergenza newcomer contest. After their furious way from the preliminaries to the final round in 2003, they have so far released a self-titled demo CD and a debut full-length CD (The Awakening). Nearly two years later, their next CD Suffering/Dreaming has been released and Ophidian are once again showing that they are among the most promising metal bands from Luxemburg.

Ophidian don't seem to care too much about the costs and decided to record the album in the prestigious WPA studios. The digipack including a huge booklet lends the album a very professional look. And this is absolutely not meant to divert from a mediocre songwriting as Ophidian has again created a perfect metal album.

It starts with a short intro of music played backwards and children screaming. The first real track Human Burden is a cool mixture of power, prog and thrash metal, coming across like a female reply to Nevermore. Although Ophidian are anything but retro, they often sound like progressive metal bands from the late 80s and early 90s (VoiVod, Living Death, Last Descendants,...). These elements have already been present on previous works, but the current Ophidian line-up (with two new band members since The Awakening) is not afraid of showing their more commercial and accessible side. Suffering and Fade are aimed at everyone who likes female gothic metal acts like Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation. Standing Still is an emotional song where singer Caroline comes close to Anneke Van Giersbergen.

Suffering/Dreaming is able to keep its high level during the full running time. Often albums get a bit repetitive towards the end, but here this is not the case. Vanishing Lights is a commercial song with wonderful pop appeal and some folky elements. Hope For Calm is over ten minutes long and a real metal journey with midtempo, slow, hard and melancholic parts. The final unplugged Memories even has some cellos. It's not representative and I prefer Ophidian's harder tracks, but it's well chosen to end this masterpiece of temporary and timeless metal.

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