VotIVe by Amalgamoth
Ophidian Forest plays a form of black metal. It used to be really loud and punishing, like on our 2007 debut album “Redbad”. Over the years the emphasis on upfront guitars has changed and on our latest album “VotIVe” there’s more emphasis on keyboard melodies. With the arrival of D. From Book of Sand new instruments were introduced, such as a cello, a bowed psaltery or even a banjo. The music has evolved and become more progressive. Because the band has always kept a low profile in terms of music production people often associate this with old school 90’s black metal. But the true reason is that we want to create as much with as little means as possible.
The latest album is called “VotIVe” and it’s basically the debut of our second incarnation. The earliest recordings for “VotIVe” date back to the year following the completion of the album “Susurrus”, from 2010. However, in 2011 all activities came to a halt due to problems. The guitarist left in 2015 and it wasn’t until 2016 that Otrebor proposed to start working on the initial compositions in order to finally make the 4rth album. Eventually, the vacancy was filled by D. From the band Book of Sand. Early 2017 he recorded his parts over the music I and Otrebor had completed before, and after he did his parts, I recorded the vocals. I wrote the lyrics too, as always. We don’t gather in a studio, we all record our stuff at home in the US and the NL and combine those parts later on.
The lyrics are the hardest part for me to write, but one sure thing is that they are about a pagan perspective on life. I like history, mythology, mysticism and old cultures and civilizations. I rather write about Norse and Germanic mythology instead of casting stones at Christianity, which is far more inspirational to me. On the album “VotIVe” I dedicated several songs to local germanic goddesses like Nehalennia and Vagdavercustis. These names are unfamiliar to most, but they were of importance in pre-Christian times in the area where I live, along the shores of the North Sea and along the banks of the river Rhine.
I like to write about history, mythology and mysticism. I am very religious about music. Music is my salvation from everyday life, and I think this pretty much counts for Otrebor and D. as well. Nature is worth worshipping, hence we have also described ourselves as being pantheist. I don’t believe in a personal entity that is watching over each and everyone, but we’re all part of nature and the cosmos. I don’t believe in the holiness of man or any man. The idolization of a person is possible, but in the end, we’re all just mortal mammals, a short episode in the history of planet Earth, so rather than to pray I like to make some noise. That is what lifts my soul.
With the collaboration with BlackInkVoid Ophidian Forest have taken their artwork to the next level, and we surely like to work with him in the future. It’s imaginative and refined and also pretty recognisable. All our previous releases had artwork that was okay-ish, but never totally excellent. These days we avoid using photos or Photoshop because the results will rather disappoint than not.