The biblical reference of Ophidian I

interview with ophidian i

Ophidian I is an Icelandic technical death metal ensemble founded in the Summer of 2010 in Reykjavík, Iceland. The band features members of Icelandic death metal groups such as Discord, Dysmorphic, Severed Crotch and Beneath. The initial idea was to create a clean sounding yet raw type of death metal inspired by new wave technical bands such as Obscura, Necrophagist, The Faceless, Odious Mortem and more. The lyrical themes include eschatology (the study of ideas that are believed to be the final events in history, commonly referred to as the end of the world), the past and future of human history and the fate of the universe.

Hello, Ophidian I, nice to meet you and thanks for taking the time to do this interview with BRUTALISM. Firstly,Introduce yourselves for our readers and secondly, how are you today and what are you doing right now?

Hey, thanks for having us. We are a technical death metal band hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland. We are doing just fine thank you, and working on answering your questions. We are also preparing for a gig with two bands from France, where we will play with a new guitar player! pretty exciting :)

Now you guys are from Iceland, What’s the scene like there right now? Your music isn’t exactly the typical music to come out of Iceland. How did you guys form and what were your influences to write this type of music? Have you embraced any traditional cultural stuff typical of Iceland?

The metal scene rocks up and down from year to year, sometimes there are overcrowded shows every weekend and then we also have periods with no shows for weeks and poor attendance. There are a few other tech death bands, but they all have different influences and their own style. We started when one of our guitarists (Simon) and bassist (Þórður) had recently become the best of friends when they decided to form a tech death band influenced by the Faceless and Obscura at Iceland’s largest annual metal festival, Eistnaflug.

The actual name Ophidian I is a peculiar name indeed, what is its meaning? Has it got any relevance to the lyrics or indeed perhaps folklore of Iceland?
The name is somewhat of a biblical reference, where the snake is symbolic for the faults and imperfectness of man. It implies that the human race, including oneself is flawed, deceptive and malicious(which coincidentally also happens to be the general view held by the extra terrestrials of Solvet Saeclum). The concept of the lyrics, band name and musical influence is all completely unrelated to Iceland apart from the fact that it happens to be where all the members of the band are situated at the moment.

Now to those who have not heard you guys, how would you describe your music? I hear a lot of Necrophagist, Nile and Atheist but to name a few, would you agree?
Our music could be described as relatively conventional technical death metal, but with our own personal twist to it, I guess. Bands like Necrophagist and Nile is what brought us together in the first place so we’re definitely not surprised when people say they can hear their influence on our music. A lot of the oriental scale patterns we tend to use are also frequent in songs from other bands in the tech death genre, so there are definitely some similarities.

What with your classical stylings within your music, do you guys play 6,7 or indeed 8 string guitars? For perhaps extended range? What do you guys use on that front? Are you guys classically trained musicians?
We use normal 6 string guitars, but our bass player uses a 7 string bass, which is kinda cool. We have all been studying at some point, some more than others, some even teaching already!

The cover artwork for "Solvet Saeclum" is epic! What’s going on in the picture? Who did the piece for you and what was the artworks inspiration?
Thank you! Marco Hasmann is the artist, he’s great! He did all three Fleshgod Apocalypse covers for example.  We basically just described to him what the album title ment and the lyrics, which are mostly all about the end of the world, destruction, aliens, death and whatever, and this is what he came up with!

Are you guys touring in support of the release? Will we be seeing more of you in future? In your eyes, what does it hold for Ophidian I?
We have not planned any tours/gigs outside of iceland yet, it’s expensive and takes a long time to plan and raise money for it, and it’s not so easy to get a slot on a tour. But we will definitely play outside of iceland (hopefully regularly) when the time is right! We are very optimistic about our future and we hope to see you guys out there one day.

What can we expect from an Ophidian I show?  Who are the crazy fuckers in Ophidian I? Any crazy stories to tell?
Just a lot of fun and good music! We are all pretty crazy on stage i think, in a review of our performance at Eistnaflug festival 2012, Ingó (vocals) was described as having a “homeless person on bath salts” persona!

Thanks for taking the time guys to do the interview, I can’t recommend the readers enough to go check out "Solvet Saeclum", Anything you guys would like to add?
Thank you too man, it was a pleasure. Yeah we just encourage everyone to go check out our facebook page and buy our album if they like us!

Interviewer: Connor
Dec 5, 2012

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