This is the second album from Ὁπλίτης (otherwise known as Hoplites), a one-man post-black metal band from China.
Well this is unexpected. Having only unleashed the stunning Ψευδομένη on an unsuspecting world in January, we now get the equally unexpected Τρωθησομένη – 38 minutes of tasty new material from the very talented, (and apparently very prolific), artist behind Ὁπλίτης, (as well as Vitriolic Sage).
If you think of Τρωθησομένη as a continuation of the brutally dissonant avant-garde style established on Ψευδομένη, then you’ll be on the right lines, only this time around the artist behind the band has thrown in a few other influences too.
Τρωθησομένη is as abrasive and unforgiving as its predecessor, but with a slightly different emphasis, and less of an overt mathcore aspect. There’s a jagged thrash influence which is one part of this, but overall there seems to be a bit more of an emphasis on melody and progressive atmosphere. It’s all relative of course, as this album is still a frenetic and barely-restrained example of a technical blackened frenzy as you’re likely to encounter this year. Well-written and well-performed, these songs are probably more intense overall than the ones on Ψευδομένη, which is saying something if you’re familiar with that record.
There are many things I like about this album, and just one example is how relentless it is. It just doesn’t stop lashing out with furious violence at all. It’s a controlled aggression though – the artist knows exactly what every part of this whirlwind of blades is going to be doing at any given point, despite how unhinged it can sometimes seem – yet this doesn’t diminish its potency at all. Whereas Ψευδομένη ended with a moody light atmospheric piece, Τρωθησομένη closes with a punky Darkthrone-esque song, showcasing yet another facet of the Ὁπλίτης sound.
It’s easy to get lost in the songs’ intricate riffs and blistering intensity. The dynamic energy and primal rage imbued within these tracks is staggering, and the entire album is an exemplar of complex blackened savagery.
Wow. I was not expecting another dose of Ὁπλίτης so very soon after the last one, but I’m not complaining at all. Τρωθησομένη is hideously impressive and masterfully enjoyable. Like its predecessor, it’s an utterly essential listen for any fan of blackened extreme metal.