After the demise of Brooklyn-based doom/sludge/black metal outfit Unearthly Trance some of its former members bounce back with a new band, called Serpentine Path. Aided by Tim Bagshaw of Ramesses and Electric Wizard fame they recorded the band’s selftitled debut album. Let’s see whether it can live up to any of their previous/other bands.
The self titled Serpentine Path debut album isn’t a massive detour of what the individual band members have done with Electric Wizard, Ramesses and Unearthly trance. Serpentine Path‘s core sound is deeply rooted in doom/death metal, together with some slight sludge and black metal influences to keep things nice and heavy, but especially creepy. Having that said, Serpentine Path does have a face of its own and it can easily rival with the best what the doom/death/sludge metal scene has to offer.
There are two distinct elements that set this album apart from its contemporaries. First of all, the incredible dark and suffocating atmosphere. It’s not look Neurosis-type of heavy, but it’s still sends shivers down my spine. Secondly, I really love the uncompromising nature of the music. It’s ugly, depressive, but most of all it’s made for true connoisseurs of the genre.
Thirdly and perhaps the biggest asset of them all, is the band’s uncanny ability to write memorable and engaging songs. Tracks like “Arrows”, “Bats Among Heathens” and “Compendium Of Suffering” are some particularly fine examples.
Usually, I take the typical sales pitch from record labels with a big grain of salt, however Relapse’s claim that Serpentine Path being one of the best doom/death metal outfits to emerge in several years is completely justified. I’m sure they’ll play at the Roadburn Festival pretty soon!