Label: Austenized Records
Look at that cover. Look at it! A black horned goat! The non-more-80’s font of the album title! A dude in a leather jacket and gasmask, holding a scythe and a machine gun! If the cover to Machine Gun Reaper isn’t the best/worst cover you’ve ever seen, well, I want to know what is. Even better, the third album by Ophicvs sounds exactly how you’d hope from the cover; blackened heavy metal that’s stuck somewhere in the late 80’s, full of trashy heavy metal tropes that somehow, in the hands of the sole member of Ophicvs, come to sound so very vital and thrilling.
Of course, your tolerance for such cliche-dwelling metal will vary, but odds are if you’ve ever listened to Venom, or Abigail, or Mercyful Fate and thought “yeah, this is good, but what if it was just a bit, y’know, more?”, then you’ll love this album as much as I do. There’s surely no way in hell this album is intended to be taken seriously, which is a huge part of the appeal – lyrics like those from ‘Raven’ (“Dressed in black/Dark as fuck”) or ‘Demongirl Babe’ (just pick any line) absolutely tap in to the sheer joy of heavy metal, and the songs are expressed with such conviction that you know that the album comes from a place of love and respect for the genre. It’s all so ridiculously over the top, and I think it’s bloody brilliant.
Machine Gun Reaper is available on CD, cassette, and digitally via Bandcamp.