Serpentine Path – Serpentine Path

Label: Relapse Records
Release Date: 11th September 2012
Genre(s): Death Metal/Doom Metal
Download These: 'Bats Amongst Heathens', 'Obsoletion', 'Only A Monolith Remains'.
For Fans Of: Electric Wizard, Unearthly Trance, early Sabbath, early Paradise Lost.
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Serpentine Path – Serpentine Path

I’ve not heard a band more “Doom-y” than this in, I don’t know…forever! Novembers Doom was the last band I enjoyed that was close to anything like what you’ll find here.

Serpentine Path boast all three members of Unearthly Trance within their ranks and I know that means something to some people but I’ve not heard that band, so it means that I listened to this record without having a clue what I was going to get and without any lofty expectations.

This is so god damn heavy it nearly picked me up and threw me across the room! It is so painfully slow and grinding that it makes My Dying Bride sound positively speedy and upbeat. Imagine, if you will, Bolt Thrower but slowed down or Autopsy, again slower, without the terrible vocalist. On that subject, the vocals are what I enjoy the most about the band as they add to the guttural weight of the music being so but happily, remain decipherable.

This album is more of a journey than anything else. As there are only 8 songs, the snail’s pace doesn’t get tiresome. Highlights are hard to single out, such is the quality but particularly enjoyable monsters are ‘Bats Amongst Heathens’, ‘Obsoletion’ and closing behemoth ‘Only A Monolith Remains’.

Don’t be expecting any melody here as there isn’t a shred of it but do expect to make your neighbours think the end of the world is nigh.  This album would be the perfect musical accompaniment to the apocalypse.

The mix nails it perfectly. The drums are so live sounding with very little knob-twiddling affecting them and really blend well with the VERY down-tuned guitars to create the overall sledgehammer to the cranium that this album is. You can almost feel the misery and despair pouring out the speakers when cranked. In fact, on bleak, rain-soaked days I might reach for this album to help add to the ambience.

The only negative I can think of with this group and the Doom Metal movement in general is that if you like your Metal fairly technical then you wont find much here along those lines but this genre has never been about that anyway.

Based on how much I like this album I think I’ll check out three quarters of Serpentine Paths’ other band that I mentioned in paragraph two of this review.

Doom Metal with a death metal flavour done really well so if that sounds like your thing then this is a must – buy for you. Run, or rather crawl really slowly, along and get it now!Dom

Posted by Ben Timpson | 19 Sep 2012 | Album Reviews, Reviews