Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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4/5 ·
If you're a regular reader of my reviews then you may have noticed one thing about my tastes in metal: death metal and I don't exactly have a stable relationship. I like a good few technical and progressive death metal bands, but the kind of death metal act that gets branded as 'old school' and I generally aren't best buddies. There are exceptions of course, such as Krypts (from Finland), Sulphur Aeon, and Wound (both from Germany). Another band that impressed me a few years ago was the Danish act Deus Otiosus. The album was Rise (2014), and its semi-thrashy old school death metal sound really stood out to me compared to other, similarly branded bands and albums I was trying out, such as the then quite hyped up Abysmal Thresholds by Corpsessed, where the music seemed to just be a bunch of songs that blurred together with little to no identity between them.

Opposer (2017) is the follow-up to that album, the band's fourth full-length overall, and it brings more of the same to the table, though it doesn't have quite as pronounced a thrash metal edge to their riffs this time around. Though not as strong as Rise, it's clear that the Danes haven't lost what made them stand out before with this latest offering. They write good riffs instead of totally forgettable ones as per most death metal acts trying too hard to be old school and in Anders Bo Rasmussen they have a vocalist whose growls can actually be followed really quite well and being able to discern their lyrics makes all the difference in making Deus Otiosus's songs memorable. Many death metal bands just want to be as brutal as possible. Some are even good at that. But the individual songs nearly always end up being so totally forgettable that they just can't seem to make an album that leaves a lasting impression. Deus Otiosus rise above that and there's no danger of it happening to them.

Opposer is another solid death metal outing from Deus Otiosus, a band who many others professing to play the same game could learn a thing of three from. A rare band existing within a genre that often seems completely stale that manages to take the same formula as others and make it sound as if its as natural as breathing. I'm confident that come the end of the year Opposer will still stand tall as one of 2017's best old school death metal albums. In fact so far even its only one of two that's even registered on my interest, the other being Wound's Engrained that I still need to check out, but have a lot of confidence in after their excellent debut Inhale the Void (2013). The difference between Wound and Deus Otiosus? Wound's album has been out since January and it's been on my 'meaning to get around to it' list since then. I rushed to Bandcamp to hear Opposer the second I realised a new Deus Otiosus album had been released. I find it really sad how few people still seem to know about them. To my ears they deserve to be considered field leaders of their genre, though I guess 'hidden gem' isn't a bad distinction to have either.
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