Opprobrium – Supernatural Death
The original Incubus (Opprobrium) was a sight to behold back in the 80’s and was responsible for what could quite possibly be the heaviest, fastest, most intense Death/Thrash ever committed to recording. For those who think Dark Angel, Sadus, Slayer, Kreator or Sepultura are the most extreme, you are truly missing out.
Originally from the thrash heaven of Brazil, the original Incubus were one of the first bands to successfully mix death metal, and thrash metal. With the release of their first demo, it was clear that these guys were one of the most savage bands in the entire 80’s scene. Sadly, the crappy pop band eventually obtained the rights to the Incubus moniker, forcing the band to suffer a period of inactivity, as well making them have to change their name to Opprobrium. Still, what the incubus was able to do during the short time of their first incarnation was commendable, and in 1988 during the peak of the thrash metal genre, they released an album Serpent Temptation that could be the most brutal of its entire genre, and still sounds relevant to this day, featuring furious tempos and aggression, which very few bands even now dare touch.
What really sticks out on the classic Supernatural Death album is the very tight and well executed riffs. Every song in fact, has a level on intricacy, not normally associated with bands of this extremity. When the band plays at slower tempos, they can come up with some on the heaviest riffs imaginable, and at the same time, they can switch to hyper fast tremelo riffing at the drop of a hat. There are many examples of semi-technical song structures and riffs that show the band’s capabilities at this early stage in their evolution. Guitarist Francis M. Howard is incredibly talented, and his mind-blowing riffs and superior songwriting displayed here. The insanely raw production of this album only does the guitar work more justice, keeping it sounding distortion sound like cross between the heaviness of Exhorder, mixed with that of Demolition Hammer. An prime example of the godly guitar tone is the beginning of the song sadistic sinner. The raw distortion creates an untouchable wall of sound. Right from the start, you know you’re in for a ride.