|SERPENT OBSCENE: "Devastation" serpent_obscene blacklodge|
review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____
A real war assault coming from Sweden, based on a very fast and dynamic Thrash /Death mixture supported by massive, lethal loops: a neckbreaker ...and a destroyer
from the sky, release
Serpent Obscene propose their second album through Black Lodge, it was released in october 2003 but it was recorded at Berno studios in August 2001. It's a good thing that new bands see their releases finally published by a label , and you must consider that a debut album or even its successor are not the most uptodated proposals of the band in question . So we should listen to this record like we would have listened to it in 2001. Though "Serpent obscenE" is another confirm of the great Scandinavian attitude for Metal), please let's not think that they are Swedish , with the related concepts of Swedish school, Swedish label and bla bla bla.... As soon as a band comes from a Scandinavian land , flags exalting or disparaging the Swedish, Finnish and Norvegian school(s) are fluttering in the wind. But sorry, what do they mean after all Swedish school and Swedish Death, bitte schön?? And indeed , Swedish Death is a very faint concept if , at the end of story, Serpent Obscene are compared with Slayer, Testament, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Entombed, Dissection , Metallica too and many others: Swedes and not. So whatever. Fact is that they play a fast, extremely aggressive, sometimes violent mixture of Thrash/Death, that , though not being exactly the most surprising thing of the world, and though much has still be done, is well composed, , even catchy , just a little bit harsh. Every track is a head -banging triumph and really you don't loose one single beat. Tempo changings are not so numerous cause the tracks are substained by a couple of good winning loops, but they are present and fluency done. Fast Death is good combined with Thrash and the attacking discharges are overwhelming, the instruments very compact, drumming is underlined by snares strokes; distorted sounds and galoppings are massive, energetic, aggressive, evil ,but not completely hyperfurious , so that you recognize an harmonic thread that gives a musical schema. Vocals are angry : ranging from growlings to a certain screaming tone. Winning loops are the protagonists of the mighty opener The Rotten for example, as well as of Chaos Return supreme : indeed like already mentioned , loops are a pillar of the structure of their tracks. Chaos reign Supreme and Beyond Recognition offer also , among the fast relentless detonations, short moments of pounding and harsh hyperheavy roaring and rolling , with an haunting, merciless atmosphere.
Torture Slave and Terror from the Sky are other 2 enjoyable massive tracks, that though holding the line of 2 fast tempo's , they are still not 2 furious, so that , though powerful and violent, can be still tolerable by human ears and mind, and of course a promise for a perfect moshing and banging. For me musicality always remains a plus point, even in the middle of the pandemonium. Terror from the Sky has a pronounced thrashy face , oriented à la Kill'em all and the fast Slayer of the 80's.
A good feature of this album is that the classical Death/Thrash is proposed in a way which is right suitable for modern tastes and vision. Guitar works are titanic, and vocals follow the war of the instruments , mastering in the proper way the well balanced assault. Discharges and attacks that can be really appreciated by those who are into a Thrash without compromises and by those who are into a fast violent and even a bit brutal Death, and even more cause there are coherent musical phrases providing a musical construction to follow. In few words there is a well defined motif promoted through those enthralling loops. There is no lack of distorted sounds that cut and guitar riffings that make the blood run faster . Pure adrenaline push and striking Metal. Legacy of the Wicked has all those characteristics and maybe a certain drop that can attract even the Black fraction. Lhe lead guitar's sound shows here and there its claws and drums are able for an evocation of the Hordes , though sometimes you would prefer to have more bass sounds set in the foreground (double bass drums included ), but the dry snare hits are however united with fat and varied percussions. Perversion prevails is another song to mention , it closes well the album with a dialogue between growling and more screaming tones, with moments filled by pounding heavy, compact rhythmics and reverbering riffs, and killing loops. Imo, the best song of the album.
For Death and extreme metallers, Devastation can be a good and enjoyable inferno that i can only suggest, and, i repeat again, its loops and implacable gallopings are the best essence of this work . If you are not an addict to an almost never ending speed, and if you need also something melodic , in that case you must be in the right mood for listening to them, nevertheless you will always like this album, cause it is a fierce and proud destroyer. Look to the sky and see the angel of Death!
|dalia di giacomo
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