Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review of "S/T" by Serpentine Path

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1. Arrows
2. Crotalus Horridus Horridus
3. Bats Amongst Heathens
4. Beyond the Dawn of Time
5. Obsoletion
6. Aphelion
7. Compendium of Suffering
8. Only a Monolith Remains

“With a pedigree that boasts all three members of New York’s cult doom band Unearthly Trance PLUS founding Electric Wizard and Ramesses bassist/guitarist Tim Bagshaw, Serpentine Path’s debut self-titled album should immediately top any doom-metal fan’s want-list.  Sounding like way more than just a sum of its parts, Serpentine Path’s debut is an absolutely crushing album which both references and reinterprets its members’ previous bands but with a decidedly more punishing death-metal approach.  Vicious vocals combine with downtuned guitars that rip out punishingly killer riffs to create an overall evil vibe that’s equal parts Paranoid and Severed Survival---Serpentine Path is way more than just a super group of underground icons, they are one of the best new death/doom outfits to emerge in many years.”

A very satanic conspiracy theory sound clip opens up the first track on the album, “Arrows” and leads right into the epicosity of the doom metal. I like the more brutal vocals for doom bands, its change from the Pilgrim and other’s I’ve been listening to for the past while. The death metal doom style is quite enjoyable. The second track is “Crotalus Horridus Horridus,” and I have come to the conclusion it means timber rattlesnake rattlesnake. It’s a very slow, sludgy, and doomy track. The guitar is a little repetitive, but that’s to be expected. The guitar on the next track, “Bats Amongst Heathens,” is really catchy. This song is pretty short for a doom band, the screams near the end were very dirty and menacing sounding.

When the drums have more notes than the guitar, like in the beginning of “Beyond the Dawn of Time,” you know it is going to be a very gnarly track.. The vocals are great, when there are some. While it was a great song, it was a little uninspiring. The guitars, on ““Obsoletion”, are more apparent and alive than the track prior. The lead guitar in the beginning was a nice change, along with the little snare march thing going on. It quickly goes back to the slower doom style but the guitars don’t get to slow which keeps the song interesting.

“Aphelion” is probably one of the more alive tracks on the album and being three minutes long I’d hope so. The solo in this song is nice and the guitar is catchy especially closer to the end of the track. The guitar riff half way through “Compendium of Suffering” is a really great one and is pretty much the highlight of this track. Finishing this album up is “Only a Monolith Remains.” The drumming in the beginning is really great the way it builds up. The guitar has really nice groove to it the whole way through. This was a nice track to finish the album. The ending was epic with the cymbal and guitar.

I recommend this album if you like death-infused doom metal. The only reason I gave this a seven is because while they do the sludge sound well, with how over saturated the doom genre is this album just didn’t appeal to me as much as I was hoping. Serpentine Path are great but hearing so much doom lately, its just not enjoyable.

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